Fuel Cell Technologies Office Newsletter: December 2013

The December 2013 issue of the of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office newsletter includes stories in these categories:

In the News

Energy Department Invests Over $7 Million to Commercialize Cost-Effective Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies

On December 17, the Energy Department announced more than $7 million for projects that will help bring cost-effective, advanced hydrogen and fuel cell technologies online faster. This investment—across four projects in Georgia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee—will increase U.S. leadership in fuel cell-powered vehicles and backup power systems, and give businesses more affordable, cleaner transportation and power options.

Energy Department Reports: U.S. Fuel Cell Market Production and Deployment Continues Strong Growth

On December 19, the Energy Department released three new reports showcasing strong growth across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen technologies markets. According to these reports, the United States continues to be one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. In 2012, nearly 80% of total investment in the global fuel cell industry was made in U.S. companies.

Your Holidays—Brought to You By Fuel Cells

A story about how fuel cells are helping bring the holidays to you is currently posted on the Energy Department's Blog. Read the blog entry for more information about how fuel cells are powering equipment used to stock gifts and food in warehouses, load baggage onto airplanes, and keep the power on during winter storms.

DOE Has Issued Request for Information Regarding Hydrogen Infrastructure and FCEVs

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback from interested stakeholders regarding strategies for a robust market introduction of hydrogen supply, infrastructure, and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The input received will augment financing strategies that DOE analyzes for public deployment of infrastructure for supporting FCEV introduction in U.S. markets. Such financing strategies should maximize financing, for example, with debt and equity, while minimizing public incentives. RFI responses must be received by January 31, 2014.

2014 Hydrogen Student Design Contest to Design Drop-In Hydrogen Fueling Station

The 10th annual Hydrogen Student Design Contest will challenge student teams to design a transportable, containerized hydrogen fueling station solution. Registration for the contest, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is open until January 15, 2014.

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Funding Opportunities

Energy Department Announces up to $4 Million Soliciting Projects to Advance Low-Cost Hydrogen Production from Renewable and Low Carbon Sources

On November 13, the Energy Department announced up to $4 million soliciting projects to address critical challenges and barriers for low-cost, low-carbon hydrogen production. The new funding opportunity seeks projects focused on innovative materials, processes, and systems that are needed to establish the technical and cost feasibility for renewable and low carbon hydrogen production. Concept papers were due November 26, 2013. Full applications are due January 31, 2014.

DOE NSF Partnership to Address Critical Challenges in Hydrogen Production from Solar Water Splitting

EERE and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a funding opportunity in the area of renewable hydrogen technology research and development. Proposals are invited to specifically address discovery and development of advanced materials systems and chemical processes for direct photochemical and/or thermochemical water splitting for application in the solar production of hydrogen fuel. Full proposals are due February 10, 2014.

Energy Department Announces up to $4 Million Soliciting Projects to Advance Hydrogen Delivery Technology Development

On November 15, the Energy Department announced up to $4 million soliciting projects to address critical challenges and barriers to advanced hydrogen delivery technology development. The new funding opportunity seeks projects focused on innovative hydrogen delivery materials, components, and systems needed to establish the technical and cost feasibility for renewable and low carbon hydrogen delivery. Full applications are due February 14, 2014.

SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 2 Technical Topics Announced for FY14—Fuel Cell Topics Included

On October 31, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the Fiscal Year 2014 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 2 technical topics. These topics include prototype fuel cell-battery electric hybrid trucks for waste transportation and novel membranes and non-platinum group metal catalysts for direct methanol as well as hydrogen fuel cells. The full SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunity Announcement was issued on November 25, 2013, and applications are due February 4, 2014.

ARPA-E Announces up to $30 Million Soliciting Projects for Intermediate-Temperature Fuel Cell Systems for Distributed Generation

ARPA-E announced up to $30 million for a new program focused on the development of transformational electrochemical technologies to enable low-cost distributed power generation. The Reliable Electricity Based on Electrochemical Systems (REBELS) program will develop fuel cell technology for distributed power generation to improve grid stability, increase energy security, and balance intermittent renewable technologies while reducing CO2 emissions associated with current distributed generation systems. Concept papers are due January 8, 2014.

Updates and future funding opportunity announcements will be posted on the FCT Office's financial opportunities website.

Webinars and Workshops

Upcoming Webinar January 14: Hydrogen Student Design Contest

This webinar will focus on the winning entries of the 2013 Hydrogen Student Design Contest from the University of Kyushu and University of Birmingham. During the 2013 competition, teams were challenged to develop hydrogen fueling infrastructure plans for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic for the 2013–2025 timeframe. The first place winner, the University of Kyushu's design, centered on developing fueling clusters in urban areas, which then are expanded into suburban areas and along highways to facilitate cross-state travel. The University of Birmingham placed second and proposed a "hydrogen highway" system connecting Boston to Washington D.C. before connecting most areas in the Northeast. During the webinar the theme for the 2014 contest—Designing a Drop-in Fueling Station—will also be discussed. Register to attend the webinar.

Webinar December 16: International Hydrogen Infrastructure Challenges Workshop Summary—NOW, NEDO, and DOE

This webinar summarized the international information exchange on the hydrogen refueling infrastructure challenges and potential solutions to support the successful global commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The information exchange took place in June 2013 at the German Ministry of Transport, in Berlin. Workshop participants included topical experts from Germany, Japan, the United States, Scandinavia, and the European Commission. Key focus areas of the webinar included the station requirements necessary to meet the latest SAE J2601 protocol and the development of alternative fueling protocols, maintaining and measuring purity to the SAE J2619 fuel quality standard, and the availability and accuracy of meters for hydrogen dispensing for 700 bar onboard fueling. Also included was an overview of the current status of key hardware for 700 bar refueling. Slides and a recording of the webinar are available.

Visit our website to see webinar archives or workshop presentations.

Studies, Reports, and Publications

Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report

On December 19, the Energy Department released the 2012 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report —detailing trends in the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen technologies market. The report highlights continued growth in fuel cell commercial deployments, including material handling equipment such as forklifts as well as combined heat and power systems and back-up and auxiliary power units. Nationally, U.S. fuel cell shipments grew from 1,000 units in 2008 to nearly 5,000 units in 2012, while domestic manufacturing increased by more than 60% from 2011 to 2012. Last year, the United States was also the largest market for fuel cell-powered material handling equipment—with 4,000 lift trucks and forklifts in operation across 19 states at U.S. warehouses distribution facilities and retail stores, including Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Lowe's, and Sysco, among others.

State of the States Report

On December 19, the Energy Department issued the States of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2013 report—highlighting leadership among U.S. states to grow domestic fuel cell manufacturing and deployment. The report recognizes California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina for leading the country with continued and expanded support for fuel cell and hydrogen technologies—helping to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, and create new job and business opportunities. The report also highlights efforts in Delaware, New Jersey, Texas, and other states to advance fuel cell technologies.

Pathways to Commercial Success

According to the newly released Pathways to Commercial Success: Technologies and Products Supported by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, the Energy Department's fuel cell research and development efforts over the last decade have helped manufacture about 40 new commercial technologies in the United States, support 65 new technologies that are expected to reach commercial-scale within the next three to five years, and issue more than 450 U.S. patents.

Hydrogen Delivery Cost Projections—2013

A new hydrogen delivery record has been added to the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Records database. Record number 13013 details 2013 estimates, 2020 projected cost estimates, and the 2015 and 2020 target costs for delivering and dispensing (untaxed) hydrogen.

Visit our website to access technical information about hydrogen and fuel cells. This information is provided in documents such as technical and project reports, conference proceedings and journal articles, technical presentations, and links to other websites.

National Laboratory and Principal Investigator Achievements

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

NREL is using a robot in the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) Power Systems Integration Laboratory to assess the durability of hydrogen fueling hoses, a largely untested—and currently costly—component of hydrogen fueling stations. Earlier this month, the lab posted a YouTube video about the robot.