Safety and social acceptance
And when we are dealing with hydrogen, we must deal with safety, too. Because hydrogen applications are still fairly unknown, it is no wonder that residents and those in the neighbourhood are concerned about safety. We understand that all too well at Hylife Innovations. Safety and social acceptance is important to us all. What do we know about hydrogen and what do we need to consider?
Facts about hydrogen
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It was discovered by Henry Cavendish in 1766. Exactly 40 years after this discovery, the first car was developed that could run on hydrogen. And hydrogen has been applied in various ways for the past 250 years. And yet it is only now that hydrogen can develop into a valuable alternative in the current energy transition.
Is hydrogen in houses new? Quite the opposite!
Up to the 1960s – even before the switch to natural gas from Groningen – ‘town gas’ was being produced in gas plants for lighting, heating and cooking. This mix consisted of at least 50% hydrogen.
Like natural gas, hydrogen is flammable. That is why it is extremely important to take good safety measures with hydrogen applications. Hylife Innovations and its partners only use high-quality materials: impermeable and resistant to high pressure. As a precaution, there is only ever a small amount of hydrogen present in the installations. Sensors in the installation and the surrounding spaces constantly measure the composition of the air. With deviations in the values, the system immediately shuts itself down and ventilators prevent a high concentration of hydrogen in the space. That guarantees safety.
The hydrogen production in the Innovathuis is Kiwa certified. This is a significant global milestone for the further development of hydrogen applications. Moreover, the Innovathuis is the first house in the Netherlands with an environmental permit for hydrogen applications in the built environment.
What exactly is hydrogen?
Hydrogen (H2) is the smallest and lightest element in the universe. Due to its characteristics, released hydrogen rises extremely rapidly, about 50m/s. Due to this speed, no flammable concentrations arise.
Can hydrogen ignite just like that?
No, hydrogen is only flammable at a concentration of 4% or higher. Moreover, a spark or flame is required to ignite the gas. Because hydrogen naturally rises extremely rapidly, such concentrations rarely occur in the open air. Good ventilation is very important in enclosed spaces.