Hydrogen Quantitative Risk Assessment

Sandia’s Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) team develops methodologies to identify hazards, understand risk drivers, and develop strategies to reduce risk in hydrogen infrastructure. The models, data, methods, and tools developed by Sandia facilitate the use of science and engineering to support the development of codes and standards that ensure the safe use of hydrogen.

Development of the technical basis involves development of data and models for understanding hazards, developing accident scenarios, predicting physical effects, and characterizing the impact of hazards on people and structures. This entails ongoing collaboration with the behavior team, to develop and experimentally validate first-order predictive models for hydrogen physical phenomena. This also involves collaboration with similar analyses for other alternative fuels, such as natural gas vehicles. Accumulation of this technical basis and other knowledge puts the state-of-the-art science and engineering models in the hands of decision makers such as C&S developers and station designers. This approach enables decision makers to analyze and optimize safe, economical hydrogen installations. A useful tool is the HyRAM+ software, which contains many QRA and physics models for hydrogen risk and behavior.

Through the development of models, data, and tools for QRA, Sandia has introduced, and continues to advance, the application of risk-informed decision making within the hydrogen community. Sandia research staff work collaboratively with DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, the hydrogen industry, vehicle manufacturers, codes and standards organizations, and other government agencies, national laboratories, and researchers to increase the safety and remove technical barriers to the deployment of hydrogen systems.

Benjamin Schroeder

(505) 284-3796


report cover thumbnail Austin Glover, Austin Baird, and Dusty Brooks. Final Report on Hydrogen Plant Hazards and Risk Analysis Supporting Hydrogen Plant Siting near Nuclear Power Plants. SAND2020-10828, October 2020.
thumbnail of graph from report B.D. Ehrhart, S.R. Harris, M.L. Blaylock, A.B. Muna, and S. Quong. Risk assessment and ventilation modeling for hydrogen releases in vehicle repair garages. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 46(23), 2021, pp. 12429-12438.
Thumbnail of graph from report Brian D. Ehrhart, Dusty M. Brooks, Alice B. Muna, and Chris B. LaFleur. Risk Assessment of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles in Tunnels. Fire Technology 56, 2020, pp. 891-912.
Risk Assessment and Ventilation Modeling for Hydrogen Release in Vehicle Repair GaragesBrian D. Ehrhart, Shaun R. Harris, Myra L. Blaylock, Alice B. Muna, and Spencer A. Quong. Risk Assessment and Ventilation Modeling for Hydrogen Release in Vehicle Repair Garages. SAND2020-4221, April 2020.
Chris LaFleur, Gabriela Bran-Anleu, Alice B. Muna, Brian D. Ehrhart, Myra Blaylock, and William G. Houf. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Tunnel Safety Study. SAND2017-11157, October 2017.