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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

Fuel Cell Technologies Office Newsletter: April 2012

The April 2012 issue of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office newsletter includes stories in these categories:

In the News

DOE to Host Annual Merit Review Meeting

The 2012 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting will take place May 14–18, 2012, at the Crystal City Marriott and Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. During the meeting, hydrogen, fuel cell, and advanced vehicle technology projects funded by DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Program are reviewed by a diverse array of stakeholders and experts from the research community. All meeting participants must register to attend this meeting.

AC Transit Inaugurates Hydrogen Fueling Station

On April 10, AC Transit, and a coalition of regional transit partners serving 7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, inaugurated the newest hydrogen production and dispensing station to fuel zero-emission fuel cell buses operating throughout the region. Sunita Satyapal, Fuel Cell Technologies Office Manager, joined more than 300 guests and a dozen other federal, state, and local officials as they formally dedicated the station at AC Transit's Emeryville division, where hydrogen to fuel the fleet is produced in part by solar-powered electrolysis. The 12 zero-emission fuel cell buses are part of AC Transit's fleet of more than 580 transit buses. As of March 2012 the buses have transported more than 985,000 riders and traveled nearly 250,000 miles.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) will meet on Wednesday, May 9, and Thursday, May 10, at the Radisson Hotel Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. HTAC was established under Section 807 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to provide technical and programmatic advice to the Energy Secretary on the U.S. Department of Energy's hydrogen research, development, and demonstration efforts. The group includes representatives of domestic industry, academia, professional societies, government agencies, financial organizations, and environmental groups, as well as experts in hydrogen safety. Members of the public are welcome to observe HTAC meetings and make oral statements during the specified period for public comment. To register for the meeting and/or to make oral statements during the public comment period, please email HTAC at least 5 business days before the meeting.

Defense Production Act Committee Releases RFI Addressing Availability and Cost of Fuel Cell Systems

On April 13, the Fuel Cell Study Group of the Defense Production Act Committee (DPAC) released a request for information regarding fuel cell manufacturing developed in conjunction with the Fuel Cell Technologies Office. DPAC is comprised of the heads of federal acquisition departments and agencies and serves as a multi-departmental forum to identify risks and shortfalls in the industrial base and make recommendation on actions to rectify them, including the use of DPA Title III authorities. Study groups were formed in 2011 to focus on more technical work. The three topic areas included in the RFI are: standardization, improved manufacturing, and improved design/performance of fuel cell balance-of-plant equipment; stack and stack component standardization and improved manufacturing; and acquisition and deployment of tactical fuel cell systems. Responses are due Monday, May 14. Late responses may be considered by the government reviewers.

Check out our events calendar to see see a listing of our upcoming events.

Funding Opportunities

Energy Department Announces up to $2.5 Million to Deploy Fuel Cell Powered Baggage Vehicles at U.S. Airports

On April 25, the Energy Department announced up to $2.5 million available this year to demonstrate and deploy fuel cell electric vehicles for transporting passenger baggage at major U.S. airports. The projects selected for funding will demonstrate first-generation, fuel cell powered baggage towing tractors under real-world operating conditions, and collect and analyze data to test their performance and cost-effectiveness. This funding, part of the Department's commitment to U.S. leadership in advanced fuel cell research and development, will help industry bring advanced fuel cell technologies into emerging markets and provide airlines and airports with new choices for ground support operations that cut energy costs, air pollution, and petroleum use.

SBIR/STTR Phase I Release 3 FOA Released

The Department of Energy has issued its FY 2012 Phase I (Release 3) Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000715) for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Topics include transportation fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage research projects. Qualified small businesses with strong research capabilities in science or engineering in any of the research areas sought in the announcement are encouraged to apply. The deadline for receipt of pre-applications (required) is May 1, 2012, 11:59 pm EST.

Department of Energy Announces up to $6 Million to Collect Performance Data on Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

The application period for the previously announced "Light-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Data Validation" Funding Opportunity Announcement has been extended until May 21. Relevant requirements including data collection specifics, timing, and FCEV generation will be negotiated before awards are made. Recipients will be named after these agreements have been reached.

DOE Announces up to $2 Million to Collect Data from Hydrogen Fueling Stations and Demonstrate Innovations in Hydrogen Infrastructure Technologies

Responses to the previously announced "Validation of Hydrogen Refueling Station Performance and Advanced Refueling Components" Funding Opportunity Announcement are due by Friday, May 11.

Energy Department Announces up to $10 Million to Promote Zero Emission Cargo Transport Vehicles

Responses to the previously announced "Zero Emissions Cargo Transport Demonstration" Funding Opportunity Announcement are due by Tuesday, May 15.

Upcoming FOAs will be posted to the FCT financial opportunities website.

Webinars and Workshops

Upcoming Webinar: Procuring Fuel Cells for Stationary Power - A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers

The Energy Department will present a live webinar on May 8, 2012 featuring an overview of a recently issued guide designed to aid federal facility managers seeking to implement fuel cell stationary power sources on federal sites. The guide, titled Procuring Fuel Cells for Stationary Power: A Guide for Federal Facility Decision Makers, presents concise, step-by-step recommendations to help federal decision makers more easily transform their interest in fuel cell technologies into successful installations. The webinar will be offered on Tuesday, May 8, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, and will give an overview of the guide, concluding with a question and answer session with participants.

Visit our website to see webinar archives or workshop presentations.

Studies, Reports, and Publications

Fuel Quality Issues in Stationary Fuel Cell Systems

Fuel Quality Issues in Stationary Fuel Cell Systems was prepared by Argonne National Laboratory and investigates impurities encountered in stationary fuel cell systems and the effects of the impurities on the fuel cells. The report further identifies the impurity removal strategies that are available and their effectiveness, capacity, and cost.

Recommended Best Practices for the Characterization of Storage Properties of Hydrogen Storage Materials

Recommended Best Practices for the Characterization of Storage Properties of Hydrogen Storage Materials was written by H2 Technology Consulting and provides an introduction to and overview of the recommended best practices in making measurements of the hydrogen storage properties of materials. The goal in developing this report was to create a reference guide of common methodologies and protocols for measuring critical performance properties of advanced hydrogen storage materials and to serve as a resource to the hydrogen storage materials development community to aid in clearly communicating the relevant performance properties of new materials as they are discovered and tested.

Executive Summaries for the Hydrogen Storage Materials Centers of Excellence

This report contains the executive summaries of the final technical reports from the three Hydrogen Storage Centers of Excellence that operated from 2005 through 2010 to develop advanced hydrogen storage materials in the areas of chemical hydrogen storage materials, hydrogen sorbents, and reversible metal hydrides. The report provides a summary of the activities performed, key accomplishments, and recommendations from each Center of Excellence. Specific final reports for each Center of Excellence (Chemical Hydrogen Storage, Hydrogen Sorption, and Metal Hydride) are also available.

Critical Updates to the Hydrogen Analysis Production Model (H2A v3)

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a new version of the Hydrogen Analysis Production Model (H2A v3) and provided a review of an updated production pathway case study to illustrate the updated spreadsheet tool. H2A is a spreadsheet-based tool used to analyze the technical and economic aspects of central and forecourt hydrogen production technologies. Using a standard discounted cash flow rate of return methodology, it determines the levelized cost of hydrogen for a particular production technology on a $/kg basis. H2A has been modified to include changes to reference year (2007 vs. 2005) and updated default feedstock financial input values. A recording of the review and the slides are available. The H2A Users Guide also has been updated to include and explain these changes.

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 Achievements

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Fernando Garzon, a long time principal investigator supported by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office most recently working on ultralow platinum group metal catalysts, was elected President of the Electrochemical Society (ECS). With more than 8,000 individual members from more than 70 countries and 100 corporate members, the ECS has more than 100 years of history with electrochemical and solid-state science and technology.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Dr. Adam Weber, the Program Manager for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's hydrogen and fuel cell activities and long-time researcher with the Fuel Cell Technologies Office working in the area of fuel cells, hydrogen and fuel cell manufacturing, electrochemistry, and energy storage, received the 2012 Energy Technology Division Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award from the Electrochemical Society, to be awarded at the 221st ECS Meeting in Seattle, Washington. In addition, Dr. Weber and his research team were awarded a "Best Paper Poster" award at the 2012 Grove Science and Technology Conference in Berlin earlier this month for their work on measuring water uptake in fuel-cell catalyst layers.