Piping Systems

Piping system designers should consider the operating pressure and temperature, as well as proper material selection. For information on material selection for compressed hydrogen gas piping systems, please see Material Selection for Compressed Gas Storage Vessels.

The system should be designed (e.g., adequate pipe thickness, support system) for the most severe condition of temperature and pressure expected during service, as well as for ease of personnel access.

All piping systems should conform to the ASME B31.3 Process Piping Code or the ASME B31.1 Power Piping Code.

Caution should be used when burying hydrogen piping. Industry has extensive experience with buried hydrogen pipelines. Proper controls should be used to protect against damage (e.g., cathodic protection, material selection, anti-corrosion coatings, proper protection from inadvertent excavation) and also to prevent hydrogen from entering a building if there is any leakage. One option for short runs is to lay the pipe in open trenches with removable grating so that it can be maintained and monitored. When pipe can be routed without any joints, another option is to place the pipe in a corrosion resistant sleeve that is open at both ends.

Piping supports must be able to withstand the loads introduced by operating conditions and occasional loads such as those caused by wind, ice and snow and earthquake loadings as well be flexible enough to endure thermal expansion and contraction.

** Note: Best practices for bulk gas transport pipelines are not described on this site. See the following references for some useful information:

  • CGA G-5.6 (EIGA Doc 121), Hydrogen Pipeline Systems
  • ASME B31.8, Gas Transmission and Distribution Systems
  • IGC Doc 121/04/E, Hydrogen Transportation Pipelines