Hydrogen filling station explosion: cause found

Hydrogen filling station exploded
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D he Norwegian Hydrogen group Nel, which operates the filling stations, has now determined an assembly error on one of the high-pressure tanks as the cause of the accident after intensive investigations. According to Nel, there was a deflagration when a leak in the pipe union of one of the separately stored high-pressure tanks formed a hydrogen gas cloud and ignited. How the inflammation came about has not yet been finally clarified. During the deflagration, apart from the property damage and fire, there were only a few slightly injured.

Nel CEO Jon André Løkke explained at a press conference that in the future, safety precautions for the construction of hydrogen filling stations would be 'introduced' as in the aviation industry. This includes improved documentation and multiple tests. In addition, Nel will make the knowledge gained from the accident available to the entire industry in order to further increase safety.

Incorrectly tightened screws (marked in blue) led to a hydrogen leak at the Nel filling station.

The Uno-X disaster station in Sandvika is the first to be built in cooperation between Uno-X and the Norwegian hydrogen supplier Nel Asa Nel, reports TV station E24. “It is too early to speculate about the cause and what went wrong. Our highest priority is the safe operation of the stations we deliver. As a precaution, we have temporarily put ten more stations on standby, ”E24 quotes the CEO of Nel Hydrogen, Jon André Løkke.

Hydrogen production and refueling in one

As that Petrol station opened in 2016, Nel boss Løkke told E24 that it was the first to offer Nel a complete system solution with the generation and filling of hydrogen at the sameBody has delivered; In addition, the station used excess energy from solar cells on the neighboring building to produce hydrogen.

The cause of the accident is still completely unclear. E24 quotes Sindre Østby Stub of the environmental organization Zero: “Hydrogen is one of the most explosive gases there is. It is therefore clear that such an accident is serious. On the other hand, I've never heard of such an accident. Hydrogen is stored under very high pressure. However, since it is much lighter than air, leaks and flames always rise straight to the top very quickly. I am very surprised at the accident and it is therefore important that the cause is determined. ”

Toyota and Hyundai stop selling

Toyota and Hyundai, which with Mirai and Nexo have fuel cell cars on offer and are considered technology pioneers , announced after the incident that they would suspend sales of their hydrogen cars in Norway.

A spokesman for Toyota Norway told the Technical Ukeblad (tu.no), the owners of a Toyota Mirai it is offered to borrow another vehicle free of charge as long as the petrol stations are closed. “We don't know exactly what happened at the Uno-X station yet, so we don't want to speculate. But we stop the delivery until we know the cause of the accident and for practical reasons - because it is currently not possible to refill fuel, 'TU quoted the press spokesman as saying. He stressed that the accident did not change Toyota's attitude towards hydrogen technology, and it was important to point out that “hydrogen cars are at least as safe as ordinary cars. The hydrogen tanks themselves are so robust that even a weapon cannot penetrate them. The Toyota man also emphasized the volatility of hydrogen and that all of the relevant components are installed on the outside of the car so that the hydrogen can quickly rise into the air in the event of a leak. Toyota Norway is not aware of any similar incidents in hydrogen cars or gas stations. Man is very confident that the extradition will continue after the accident. However, Toyota only planned to sell around 20 hydrogen cars in Norway in 2019, so far seven have apparently been sold.

Hyundai expressed itself very similarly according to other media. The shares of Nel Hydrogen, the manufacturer of components for hydrogen production, which is involved in the hydrogen filling station in Norway through a joint venture with Uno-X, lost 20 percent in value the day after the accident. The following day, the paper could at least a large part of theMake up for losses.


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