Industry participants have been delivered guidelines for a successful transition to large-scale production of hydrogen, writes Daniel Chidgey of Standards Australia.

The most common chemical in the universe, hydrogen, offers incredible potential for renewable energy, trade and storage. There is increased interest across government, business and in the community to tap hydrogen’s potential and support the growth of the technology.

As an energy source, hydrogen has many uses, including fuel for transport or heating, electricity storage or as a raw material in industrial processes. When produced using renewable energy, hydrogen can be used as a mechanism to store energy for later use. Storage of renewable energy is currently one of the significant challenges facing large-scale renewable energy use, not only in Australia but globally.

Australia has the potential to export almost a million tonnes of hydrogen by 2030 and recent reports have put the economic potential of hydrogen in Australia at $11 billion in GDP growth each year by 2050.

In September 2018, the Australian government announced an investment of over $22 million in funding for 16 hydrogen research projects and the National Hydrogen Strategy Taskforce published Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.

Standards Australia has recently published eight hydrogen-related standards to guide the industry through the rapid scale-up of this technology and focus on refuelling, transport and storage of hydrogen.

The standards are international adoptions, with some being modified by the relevant Standards Australia technical committee to suit Australian industry and application. By adopting international standards, Australia can align the national hydrogen industry with international colleagues to facilitate trade, relationships and enable access to the broader hydrogen economy.

Standards in detail

Over 12 months, the Standards Australia committee of experts worked with a range of technical professionals, industry experts and government and consumer representatives to adopt the eight standards. These publications aim to support the work in the hydrogen sector and the future of hydrogen in Australia. Here is a rundown:

AS 16110.1:2020, Hydrogen generators using fuel processing technologies, Part 1: Safety (ISO 16110-1:2007, MOD) aims to cover significant hazards, hazardous situations and events relevant to hydrogen generators when they are used as intended, except those associated with environmental compatibility (installation conditions).

AS ISO 16110.2:2020, Hydrogen generators using fuel processing technologies, Part 2: Test methods for performance describes how to measure and document the performance of stationary hydrogen generators for residential, commercial and industrial applications.

AS ISO 14687:2020, Hydrogen fuel quality – Product specification outlines the minimum quality characteristics of hydrogen fuel for utilisation in vehicular and stationary applications.

AS 22734:2020, Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis – Industrial, commercial, and residential applications (ISO 22734:2019, MOD) defines the construction, safety and performance requirements of packaged or factory-matched hydrogen gas generation appliances, using electrochemical reactions to electrolyser water to produce hydrogen and oxygen gas.

SA TS 19883:2020, Safety of pressure swing adsorption systems for hydrogen separation and purification (ISO/TS 19883:2017, MOD) defines safety measures and applicable design features for the design, commissioning and operation of pressure swing absorption systems for hydrogen separation and purification.

AS ISO 16111:2020, Transportable gas storage devices – Hydrogen absorbed in reversible metal hydride defines the requirements for material, design, construction and testing of metal hydride transportable hydrogen gas storage systems. Excludes use as an on-board fuel storage solution for hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.

AS ISO 19881:2020, Gaseous hydrogen – Land vehicle fuel containers specifies the requirements for material, design, manufacture and testing of serially produced, refillable, permanently attached containers intended for the storage of fuel cell grade compressed hydrogen gas for land vehicle operation.

AS 19880.3:2020, Gaseous hydrogen – Fuelling stations, Part 3: Valves (ISO  19880-3:2018, MOD) specifies the requirements and test methods for the safe performance of high-pressure gas vales used in hydrogen refuelling stations up to H70 designation.

These standards are an exciting step in hydrogen application and use in Australia. However, with this being a new sector there will be future guidance and updates as the industry expands. Standards Australia looks forward to working alongside the committee and engaging with relevant stakeholders to discover future opportunities for hydrogen in Australia.

H2 under 2

Announced late last year, the Australian government’s National Hydrogen Strategy outlines a vision for a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry for the benefit of all Australians and aims to position our industry as a significant player by 2030.

The strategy provides an adaptive approach to allow Australia to scale up quickly and keep in tune with the hydrogen market as it grows. It includes a set of nationally coordinated actions across government, industry and community.

As part of this is the initiative “H2 under 2”, which outlines an ambitious plan to make hydrogen a readily accessible energy option at $2 a kilogram. Standards Australia’s involvement in the broader conversation with the government and the H2 under 2 working group enables us to provide a foundation for safety, accessibility and production of hydrogen. As the work continues, Standards Australia will provide guidance and share insights with the working members and government to support the successful implementation of these sustainable goals.

Standards Australia and renewable energy

It took just over 12 months to publish eight standards for hydrogen use in Australia, which will support speed-to-market initiatives, open international trade barriers and add significant revenue to the Australian economy and job market.

In addition to the work going on in hydrogen, Standards Australia is undertaking meaningful work in ocean energy and battery storage. Although still in its infancy, ocean energy poses incredible potential as one of the world’s most abundant resources. Standards in this sector could support further innovations and help see this energy as a widely accessible and sustainable option, while battery storage offers further opportunity to engage in renewable energy options for Australian communities.

The hydrogen sector is expanding rapidly. In a year that has challenged perceptions and the status quo, exploring new and innovative areas is an essential part of growing the Australian market.

Standards Australia is committed to working to create guidance that supports both established sectors and newer, growing areas of interest. The organisation looks forward to continuing work in the hydrogen and renewable energy spaces as Australia adapts and applies its learnings from 2020.

Standards Australia appreciates all feedback and input from government, industry and community. To find out more about how standards are supporting hydrogen and renewable energy, please email

Daniel Chidgey is head of stakeholder engagement at Standards Australia.