What safety standards exist for fuel cells?



A wide range of product and application-relevant standards to safeguard fitness-for-use exist for all relevant applications of fuel cells. The cornerstone of compliance is that all stack designs and the production system observe the IEC 62282-2 standard on the safety of PEM Fuel Cell stacks. Product designs should be independently verified and production systems should be designed to verify every stack by means of a standard compliant exit-factory inspection routine, as shown below. (From Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV)




IEC 62282-2 Tests – Image courtesy of Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV


Use on ships


The use of fuel cells on ships is allowed by international conventions. In April 2022, the IMO approved the ‘Interim guidelines for the safety of ships using fuel cell power installations’. In addition, all major classification societies have rules or guidelines in place.


New developments and innovations in fuel cells, which may not be directly covered by the existing rules and guidelines can still be safely installed on board using the alternative design method in accordance with SOLAS Regulation II–1/55 for demonstration of an equivalent level of safety.