Hydrogen safety and hazardous areas 

Hydrogen safety and hazardous areas 

Unlock the future of clean energy and safety at the IDC Technologies* Hydrogen Safety and Hazardous Areas Conference – where innovation meets security! Leah Shelene Asaram reports.

As South Africa strives to transition to more sustainable and dependable energy sources, hydrogen has emerged as a promising alternative. The safe utilisation of hydrogen in various applications is of paramount concern. In this context, the Hydrogen Safety andHazardous Areas Conference takes centre stage in Sandton, from 4 to 5 December 2023, providing a valuable platform for industry experts, stakeholders, and professionals to dive into the latest developments in hydrogen-based energy and associated safety considerations.

Hydrogen as an energy solution

Hydrogen is increasingly recognised as a clean and versatile energy carrier with the potential to revolutionise multiple sectors, including transportation, industry, and power generation. As South Africa grapples with power supply challenges, the need for more resilient and decentralised energy solutions becomes increasingly evident. Hydrogen holds the promise of addressing these challenges while contributing to a sustainable and greener future. 

Ensuring hydrogen safety

Although a clean energy source, hydrogen presents specific safety challenges due to its flammable nature. As South Africa embarks on its hydrogen journey, it is vital to ensure the safety of hydrogen production, storage, and utilisation. The Hydrogen Safety and Hazardous Areas Conference is dedicated to comprehensively addressing these safety concerns. 

“Due to the inherent properties of hydrogen, safety during production, transportation, storage, and utilisation is an important issue. Further, the safety and reliability of hydrogen energy are necessary enabling conditions for public acceptance – and hence for faster sustainable energy transition,” says Blen Teshome, a speaker at the upcoming conference. 

Conference highlights

The conference agenda encompasses an array of topics related to hydrogen safety and hazardous areas, including: 

Risk assessment: Experts will share insights into assessing and mitigating the risks associated with hydrogen-based systems. This knowledge is vital for ensuring the safety of hydrogen infrastructure. 

Safety management: The conference will explore best practices in safety management, emphasising the need for robust safety protocols in hydrogen-related operations. 

Hazard mitigation: Attendees will gain an understanding of hazard mitigation strategies specific to hydrogen systems, contributing to safer industrial practices. 

Industry insights: The conference programme includes sessions that explore the latest developments in hydrogen technology and renewable energy. Participants can expect to learn about cutting-edge technologies and research in the field. “Conference participants will depart with a comprehensive understanding of the offerings in this burgeoning market, equipped with valuable insights to drive the advancement of this technology in South Africa,” says Marco Rahner, smart infrastructure sales director at Siemens and a keynote speaker at the conference. 

He offers a wealth of professional experience in energy automation and smart infrastructure, and specialises in substation automation, power quality, and distribution automation, making him a key player in the field of renewable energy and smart grids. Michael Marrington is another keynote speaker and operations manager at global service provider in hazardous areas, IndEx. He specialises in the application of hydrogen systems for industrial processes. His experience spans various sectors, including the implementation of innovative hydrogen technologies. 

Other speakers include:

  • Blen Teshome, COO at Apcon Enterprises
  • Ebrahim Takolia, CEO of Green Hydrogen Solutions
  • Dr Nelson Solan Chipangamate, a postdoc fellow at the Wits Mining Institute
  • Nirasha Sewpersad, senior solutions manager at Sasol
  • Paul Meanwell, manager of engineering governance at Komatsu Mining Corporation
  • Schalk Kruger, managing director of Expert Hazardous Area Consultation and Training (ExHACT)
  • Shantelle Alberts, operations manager at Integrated Fire Technology
  • Pieter Colyn, an executive and head of ENSafrica’s mine and occupational health and safety department

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) validated

The Hydrogen Safety and Hazardous Areas Conference is CPD-validated by the Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists (IPET) and the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), and is a valuable opportunity for professional development. Participants can earn CPD points by attending and engaging with the conference.

Who should attend?

The conference is uniquely tailored to cater to a diverse spectrum of professionals engaged in hydrogen safety and hazardous areas, making it an invaluable event for attendees. This includes process control specialists, electrical engineers, process safety and loss prevention managers, government safety regulators/inspectors, occupational health and safety/training managers, electrical and instrument tradespersons, instrumentation and control engineers, process plant engineers and technicians, plant managers, and project managers, as well as chemical, process, and mechanical engineers. Safety facilitators and design engineers will also find this conference highly beneficial.

The advantages of attending the event are multifaceted, including the opportunity to gain insights, share knowledge, and network with experts in the field, making it an essential experience for professionals involved in hydrogen safety and hazardous areas.

“The responsibility for hydrogen safety and explosion prevention is upon everybody. It is a complete lifecycle way of thinking – we cannot just think of capital expenditure (capex) and operational expenditure (opex), it’s a complete lifecycle … they all go together,” says Marrington.

By participating in the conference, attendees can gain insights into innovative approaches to hydrogen safety, develop a comprehensive understanding of the hydrogen industry within South Africa, and stay informed about the latest technologies and research related to renewable energy.

They will also be able to learn about current standards and regulations in the industry, hear from industry experts on the latest technology and information relating to hazardous areas, and connect with innovative presenters to stay updated on emerging trends in the hydrogen and hazardous industries.

As South Africa and the world look to transition to more sustainable and reliable energy sources, the Hydrogen Safety and Hazardous Areas Conference plays a pivotal role in promoting safety and innovation in the hydrogen sector. By facilitating knowledge sharing and collaboration, the conference aims to accelerate the adoption of safe and sustainable energy solutions, making a significant contribution to a greener and more resilient energy future.

Visit https://events.idc-online.com/upcoming-conferences/hydrogen-safety-hazardous-areas-conference-2 to register for the Hydrogen Safety and Hazardous Areas Conference.

* IDC Technologies specialises in engineering training courses across a range of associated fields. 

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