On 19 September 2019, Our Vice President Consulting, Geirmund Vislie, was sharing his experience regarding “Key Learning Points from Recent Hydrogen incident in Norway” at the 4th Annual Conference of Maritime Hydrogen and Marine Energy. The conference was held in Florø, Norway and was attended by experts in the field of maritime and renewable energy, including hydrogen.
In his presentation, Geirmund explained the lessons learned from the recent hydrogen incident in Norway. He mentioned that the incident started with a hydrogen leakage from the high-pressure storage unit and created a mixture of hydrogen and air that ignited the explosion. The leak started due to failure mechanisms of plug assembly. As for the mechanisms for the ignition, he stated that the most likely cause is an auto-ignition.
With regard to this incident, Geirmund mentioned to the other experts that further research related to hydrogen is needed to ensure safety during applications.
“In my opinion, it is essential to do further research on hydrogen safety because there are phenomena that we need to understand better in order to make the right decisions pertaining to the design of the equipment intended for use in certain hydrogen applications.”
Furthermore, Geirmund also mentioned that common learning is very important in the industry to improve safety. “It is crucial to take learning points from any incident into common knowledge so that the players in the hydrogen industry will understand what to do and what not to do with regards to safety, a principle not dissimilar from the aviation industry. In the past, aviation was considered a dangerous activity. With support from IATA and FAA, the players in the industry exercised common learning that resulted in improvement in many aspects. Today, a flight could be considered among the safest modes of transportation available,” said Geirmund.