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Continuous monitoring systems for the safe storage, distribution and usage of hydrogen power for transport

Hydrogen (H2 ) is the most promising replacement fuel for road transport due to its abundance, efficiency, low carbon footprint and the absence of other harmful emissions. It needs to be stored at high pressure which means high risk and safety issues during storage and transport. Tank rupture could lead to catastrophic accidents and loss of life. The mass producers of hydrogen vehicles will need to convince customers of their safety in order for hydrogen power to take off. The SMEs participating in this project have proposed a new technology which will be able to inspect the material of the tanks, detect any defects that could lead to rupture or cracking and warn of the immediate danger before an accident occurs. The goal of the SafeHPower system is the reliable and cost effective continuous monitoring of the integrity of hydrogen storage tanks at central depots, service stations and on vehicles ie at every point of hydrogen storage.


  • Development of a low cost acoustic emission (AE) sensor attached to a hydrogen storage tank in a vehicle for continuous monitoring
  • Development of a higher level AE system for continuous monitoring of hydrogen storage tanks installed at service stations and production plants
  • Development of a tangential neutron radiography system for total imaging of metal tank structures at all points.


This project aims to address the need for safe hydrogen storage tanks by developing innovative technologies for monitoring the creation and growth of fatigue cracks and will provide the capability to intervene before accidents occur. This will be a significant improvement on existing hydrogen monitoring technologies based on gas sensing which can only detect leaks near a sensor so that total area coverage of a hydrogen vessel is both impractical and expensive. Gas sensing technologies do not detect defects which could potentially cause catastrophic rupture without causing prior leakage of gas as a symptom.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 605095.

For more information, please visit the SafeHPower website.