U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Fuel Cell Technologies Office – Systems Analysis

Technological Feasibility and Cost Analysis

Technology Feasibility and Cost Analysis is performed to determine the potential economic viability of a process or technology, and helps to identify which technologies have the greatest likelihood of economic success. Results from technology feasibility analysis efforts provide input to balanced portfolio development and technology validation plans. The economic competitiveness of a technology is assessed by evaluating its implementation costs for a given process compared to the costs incurred by current technology. These analyses are therefore useful in determining which projects have the highest potential for near-, mid-, and long-term success. Parameters studied include production volume benefits, economies of scale, process configuration, materials, and resource requirements. Of principle importance, technology feasibility analyses can help direct research toward areas in which improvements will result in the largest cost reductions. Additionally, advancement toward the final goal of commercialization can be measured as the economics of a process are evaluated throughout the life of the project. Tools used for technology feasibility analysis include process modeling (e.g., ASPEN Plus©), equipment cost modeling, and cash flow analysis. Technology feasibility analysis is performed on a regular and ongoing basis, in the areas of delivery, storage, and fuel cells.

Some of the technoeconomic analyses completed to date include: