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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

Fuel Cell Technologies Office Newsletter: August 2013

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

In the News

Energy Department Announces New Investment to Reduce Fuel Cell Costs

In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above strategy to develop clean, domestic energy sources, the Energy Department recently announced a $4.5 million investment in two projects—led by Minnesota-based 3M and the Colorado School of Mines—to lower the cost, improve the durability, and increase the efficiency of next-generation fuel cell systems.

H2USA Launch Meeting Held in Washington, D.C.

On August 8, H2USA, the public-private partnership to promote hydrogen infrastructure and deploy fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the United States, held its launch meeting in Washington, D.C. The meeting was attended by 55 representatives of the 26 current participating organizations, including U.S. Department of Energy representatives Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Steven Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy; and Sunita Satyapal, Director of Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

Department of Energy Releases Draft Advanced Fossil Energy Solicitation to Support Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Pollution

As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative and advanced fossil energy projects and facilities that substantially reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. Fuel cells are included in the draft solicitation and feedback on potential opportunities or topics of relevance to the fuel cell industry is requested. The Energy Department will make available up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority through this solicitation.

PNNL Using Fuel Cells to Power Refrigerated Trucks

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office is supporting Plug Power Inc. and Nuvera to use fuel cells to power auxiliary power units on four refrigerated trucks to deliver fresh produce and frozen food in three markets. Researchers at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will oversee the project in which each fuel-cell powered refrigerated trailer will run for at least 400 hours at each demonstration site, delivering goods from the distribution centers to stores or other outlets. The fuel cells will do the work normally done by a small diesel engine, which keeps the cargo at the proper temperature while the trucks are making deliveries. Each of the four trucks will still be equipped with a main diesel engine that actually powers the truck.

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Funding Opportunities

Updates and future funding opportunity announcements will be posted on the FCT financial opportunities website. New funding opportunity announcements from the Production, Delivery, and Storage programs will be available after October 1.

Webinars and Workshops

Upcoming Webinar September 10: What We Can Learn from the Hydrogen Safety Events Database

On Tuesday, September 10, the Energy Department will present a bilateral webinar highlighting important safety event database tools that have been developed to bring lessons learned and related information to the forefront of the hydrogen community. Held in conjunction with the 5th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS2013), the webinar will include an overview of Europe's Hydrogen Incident and Accident Database (HIAD) and the U.S.'s Hydrogen Incident Reporting and Lessons Learned Database (H2Incidents.org). This webinar introduces these safety event databases, explores their features, and illustrates how they are being integrated and used to engage, educate, and inform various stakeholders. Register to attend the webinar.

Upcoming Webinar September 12: Fuel Cell Buses

On Thursday, September 12, the Energy Department will present a webinar about fuel cell buses. There are currently more than 70 fuel cell buses in operation in 10 countries, and another 50 hydrogen buses are expected to come on line in the next 18 months. These zero emission buses are showing significant improvements in fuel economy over conventionally powered buses, and experts predict dramatic reductions in their relative life cycle cost in the coming decade. On behalf of the FTA's National Fuel Cell Bus Program, CTE will present a summary of worldwide fuel cell bus activities, highlighting key strategies and partnerships and how these are shaping the future of fuel cell bus adoption. This will be followed by a presentation by the California Fuel Cell Partnership on its California Fuel Cell Bus Roadmap, providing a strategy and funding approach to move fuel cell bus technology from the current stage of full-scale validation to early commercialization through Centers of Excellence by 2016. Register to attend the webinar.

Webinar August 13: Hydrogen Compatibility of Materials

On Tuesday, August 13, the Energy Department presented a webinar titled "Hydrogen Compatibility of Materials." The webinar described hydrogen embrittlement and its impact on hydrogen distribution and storage. In particular, the webinar examined the challenges and existing guidance for selecting structural materials for hydrogen service. Speakers from DOE's Sandia National Laboratories reviewed the "Technical Reference for Hydrogen Compatibility of Materials," an important tool for identifying promising materials for hydrogen service and summarizing hydrogen compatibility data, as well as discovering gaps in available materials data and standards for qualifying materials for hydrogen service. Slides and a recording of the webinar are available.

Visit our website to see webinar archives or workshop presentations.

Studies, Reports, and Publications

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

University of Colorado Boulder Team Develops New Water Splitting Technique that Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel

A University of Colorado Boulder team has developed a radically new technique that uses the power of sunlight to efficiently split water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen, paving the way for the broad use of hydrogen as a clean, green fuel.

NREL Names Hydrogen Production Expert to Research Fellows Council

NREL recently named Dr. Maria Ghirardi, among others, to its Research Fellows Council, the laboratory's top advisory council comprised of internationally recognized NREL scientists and engineers. Dr. Ghirardi is a principal scientist at NREL, a research associate professor at the Colorado School of Mines, and a Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) Fellow. Involved in both basic and applied research, Dr. Ghirardi's work at NREL involves photobiological hydrogen production and covers metabolic, biochemical, and genetic aspects of algal metabolism. Along with the 10 current members of the Research Fellows Council, Dr. Ghirardi will advise NREL executive management on the strategic direction of science and technology research at the laboratory.