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. The Sandia QRA team focuses on two key activities: development of the technical basis for QRA and accumulation of the technical basis and other knowledge to support modification of relevant codes and standards.

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 high fidelity 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’s H2 QRA research staff work collaboratively with DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies office, the hydrogen industry, vehicle manufacturers, codes and standards developers, and other government agencies, national laboratories, and researchers to increase the safety and remove technical barriers to the deployment of hydrogen systems.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles in Tunnels by Chris B. LaFleur, Austin M. Glover, Austin R. Baird, Cyrus J. Jordan, Brian D. Ehrhart. Sandia National Laboratories, May 2020. SAND2020-5466.
image of a report cover.Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles in Tunnels by Austin M. Glover, Austin R. Baird, Chris B. LaFleur. Sandia National Laboratories, April 2020. SAND2020-4507 R.
Risk Assessment and Ventilation Modeling for Hydrogen Release in Vehicle Repair GaragesRisk Assessment and Ventilation Modeling for Hydrogen Release in Vehicle Repair Garages by Brian D. Ehrhart, Shaun R. Harris, Myra L. Blaylock, Alice B. Muna, Spencer A. Quong (QAI). Sandia National Laboratories, April 2020. SAND2020-4221.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Tunnel Safety Study by Chris LaFleur, Gabriela Bran-Anleu, Alice B. Muna, Brian D. Ehrhart, Myra Blaylock, William G. Houf. Sandia National Laboratories, October 2017. SAND2017-11157.
Analyses to Support Development of Risk-Informed Separation Distances for Hydrogen Codes and Standards by Jeffrey LaChance, William Houf, Bobby Middleton, and Larry Fluer. Sandia National Laboratories, March 2009. SAND2009-0874.