Hydrogen power is transforming the potential of renewable power around the world, and many countries now realise that they need hydrogen power to meet their goals of net-neutrality. However, no single set of certifications and qualifications has yet been established to regulate this young industry.
As hydrogen storage specialists, NPROXX understands the crucial need for accessible, safe, clean energy, and we are at the forefront of addressing the issue of varying certification standards across the world. With that said, certification standards continue to evolve and adapt at different rates, meaning there is a significant challenge to plan and meet requirements for truly global production of advanced hydrogen storage systems.
NPROXX has the experience, knowhow and expertise to manage this regulatory challenge. As we continue to expand our customer base and operations beyond the European market, the need to re-certify our existing technology to new standards is a challenge that is shaping our strategic growth.
The certification of products in the United Kingdom is now increasingly complex, following the country’s departure from the European Union in January 2021. Brexit has triggered a restructure of many legislations, which includes industrial certification standards. This has greatly affected the hydrogen industry, as the addition of new special requirements means that all power storage technology and pressure vessel applications must be re-certified for use in the UK.
This has presented a significant challenge. “We are actively collaborating with the notified body on this, so we can ensure our products are UK-accredited as soon as possible,” says Claus Klein, Manager of Engineering Quality and Certification at NPROXX. “The new standard requirements the UK government are introducing are changing all the time, so we are working to tackle this re-certification in a reactive manner.”
Certification for North America differs greatly to standards in Europe – testing methods are different and the logistics of test supervision are more difficult, due to the physical distance between the relevant notified bodies and industrial sites. For many European manufacturers, the biggest difficulty lies in building a relationship with the regulatory authority, the US Department of Transportation (DOT), who are required to witness testing alongside the notified body.
As NPROXX works on new projects in collaboration with its part-owner, Cummins, our US market ties continue to strengthen. “We see our affiliation with Cummins opening doors regarding certifying applications in America,” comments Klein. “As we aim to pursue further international standards, North America is currently our biggest goal. Through Cummins, we are constantly improving our stateside connections, and hope to move into a Cummins-owned facility in the US soon, so we will be even closer to operations and the notified bodies in that market.”
Currently, NPROXX looks to focus on attaining ASME standards – which will allow products to be manufactured for use in both the US and Canada – as well as the international ISO standards that are accepted across North America.
NPROXX’s South African certification efforts have culminated in the technology created for Mogalakwena mine’s new 25ft hydrogen trucks. This project, executed in partnership with Anglo American, involved achieving certification standards in a particularly young hydrogen market. Currently, South Africa follows European standards. “Our certification achievements in Europe are serving us in many countries – not just those in the European Union,” adds Klein. “Countries like South Africa, Russia and Turkey are accessible to us through the certificates we have already gained, meaning we can produce our innovative products in many new markets.”