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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 3 Technical Topics Announced, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Storage Included

March 16, 2012

On Monday, March 5, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 3 technical topics. Topics include transportation fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage research projects.

DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy R&D designed to reduce the cost of technologies that enable the efficient use of energy and/or the generation of renewable energy. EERE’s SBIR/STTR efforts are part of an integrated portfolio that will lead to economic and environmental benefits.

Key objectives of the Fuel Cell Technologies Program are to reduce fuel cell system cost to $30/kW (equivalent to the cost of a gasoline internal combustion engine) and improve durability to 5,000 hours (equivalent to 150,000 miles of driving) for automotive fuel cell systems by 2017. Additionally, the program aims to meet the hydrogen fuel threshold cost of $2–$4/gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) by 2020.

In support of those goals, the hydrogen and fuel cell SBIR/STTR topics in the Phase I Release 3 are focused on both transportation fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage and include the following:

  • Transportation fuel cell system components that could contribute to an 80 kW (net) fuel cell system cost of $30/kW, produced at high volume (500,000 systems per year), and 5,000 hours durability (the projected time to 10% voltage degradation).
  • Development of fibers, resins, and/or composite additives that will result in composite reinforced gas cylinders for hydrogen storage that meet or exceed the performance specifications of today’s carbon fiber composite reinforced cylinders but at a lower cost (at least 25% lower than the projected high volume cost of the carbon fiber layer for a 700 bar tank system).  

The full SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunity Announcement will be issued on April 3, 2012.

There will be a webinar on Monday March 19, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. EDT to provide additional information.