Members of the IANGV and ENGVA Technical Committees met jointly in Brussels this week with global harmonisation of standards being a key issue for both groups.
This work is currently addressing discrepancies between ISO and ECE R110 regulations. While some of the variations are minor in some cases they include discrepancies between testing procedures or even the absence of testing procedures altogether. Possible opportunities to revise ISO standards may arise later this year when the outcome of ballots under the ISO 5 yearly review cycle is known. Early indications are that the ballot will be supportive of a review.
Harmonisation work will culminate with a UN sponsored Round Table discussion on Geneva on January 10 2007.
ENGVA Technical Committee has already made some progress on harmonisation however, with Committee Chair Flavio Mariani (ENI – Italy) reporting some success with ECE R110 amendments. These include the extension of cylinder inspections from 3 to 4 years.
The ENGVA committee is also investigating the viability of having electronic shut-off valves on complete storage cylinder assemblies rather than individual cylinders. This work is undergoing technical testing with the assistance of the Dutch Government.
Other work on R110 includes harmonization meetings in Milan earlier this year and the legitimisation of dual-fuel systems, previously illegal under R110, and improvements to language relating to flexible high pressure pipes, removing references to rubber hose testing, considered inappropriate.
Mariani also reported ongoing work on CEN standards with CEN prEN 13638 (NGV Filling Stations) due for ballot later this year. Amendments submitted in Dec 2005 are currently going through administrative processes. Work to have CEN prEN 13945 (NGV Refuelling Appliances) amended to include indoor appliances have been rejected so far and must now be subject to a Machine Directive. France meanwhile, has adopted its own standard to prevent delays for indoor refueling appliance projects.
Delegates in attendance also discussed the rise in the use of Hydrogen Compressed Natural Gas blends (HCNG). Amendments to ISO 15500-20, allowing for higher pressure systems, including couplings, are currently under development with standards specifically covering HCNG gas quality are currently in discussion stages in Europe. With HCNG in its relative infancy issues such as higher pressures and embrittlement of cylinders and fittings are to be considered in standards development. Hydrogen vehicle standards meanwhile are being developed separately, often with NGV industry stakeholder participation.
IANGV Technical Committee Chair, Alex Lawson, also outlined a Canadian funded project on the OBD2 Performance of Aftermarket Light Duty NGVs. Objectives of the project were to develop an understanding of OBD2 performance of typical aftermarket NGV conversions and to provide EPA & CARB with information on the OBD2 fault threshold emissions performance. Ultimately, the aim of the project was to reduce compliance costs for aftermarket CNG system providers and to prove the effectiveness of OEM OBD2 systems after conversion of the vehicle to CNG.
Delegates to the Technical Committee meeting were also given a brief outline of a project by Koenraad Grillaert of Gent University testing the production and use of HCNG blends for bus use in Belgium. Grillaert reported that the project, which commenced in 2000, uses blends of more than 20% hydrogen, referred to in the project as HydroThane. Grillaert says the project has been successful, including the production of hydrogen using wind power, and that a rollout of other buses and a refueling network is planned for Belgium and parts of France and Germany in coming years.