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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

Fuel Cell Technologies Office Newsletter: June 2012

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

In the News

University of Maryland Wins 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest

The University of Maryland has won the Hydrogen Education Foundation's 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest. This year, teams created design concepts for a tri-generation system that produces electricity, heat, and hydrogen for their university campus. The University of Maryland's design utilizes organic and municipal solid waste via gasification and anaerobic digestion technology. This Grand Prize marks the first award for the University of Maryland in the seven-year history of the contest. Contest participants included teams of students from 20 universities in 9 countries.

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

Funding Opportunities

Deadline Extended for Fuel Cell Powered Baggage Vehicles at Commercial Airports Funding Opportunity

DOE has extended the application deadline for the Fuel Cell Powered Baggage Vehicles at Commercial Airports funding opportunity announcement. Applications are now due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 20, 2012.

Current Funding Opportunity Announcements are posted on the FCT financial opportunities website.

Webinars and Workshops

Biogas and Fuel Cells Workshop

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory held a Biogas and Fuel Cells Workshop June 11–13, 2012, in Golden, Colorado, to discuss biogas and waste-to-energy technologies for fuel cell applications. Workshop objectives were to discuss the state-of-the-art of the technologies; identify challenges preventing or delaying widespread deployment of biogas fuel cell projects and opportunities to address those challenges; and develop strategies for accelerating the use of biogas for stationary fuel cell power or hydrogen fueling infrastructure for motive power fuel cells. Workshop presentations and participants are now posted.

Upcoming Webinars

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells for Portable Power – July 17

Mobile Lighting and Generation – August

Winners of the Hydrogen Student Design Contest – September

Webinar: BNL's Low-Platinum Electrocatalysts for FCEVs

On June 19, 2012, DOE presented a live webinar on Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL's) low-platinum electrocatalyst work. BNL's newly developed electrocatalysts have high activity, stability, and durability, while containing only about one-tenth the platinum of conventional catalysts used in fuel cells, reducing overall costs. N.E. Chemcat Corporation, a leading catalyst and precious metal compound manufacturer, announced that it has licensed both the electrocatalyst technology and the manufacturing process. Slides and a recording of the webinar are available.

Webinar: Accelerating Innovation in Fuel Cells

On June 20, EERE, in partnership with the Battelle Commercialization Council of Labs, presented a live webcast titled "Accelerating Innovation: Fuel Cells." This webcast highlighted four fuel cell-focused technologies developed at DOE national laboratories, all of which are found on EERE's Energy Innovation Portal. During this webcast, attendees learned about cutting-edge hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, with a focus on core-shell nanocatalysts for hydrogen production and fuel cell electrodes, as well as activated aluminum hydride hydrogen storage. Presenter Kimberley Elcess of Brookhaven National Laboratory participated in a question-and-answer session at the end of the presentation. View webinar materials in the Accelerating Innovation Webinar Series archive.

Visit our website to see webinar archives or workshop presentations.

Studies, Reports, and Publications

Flow Cells for Energy Storage Workshop Proceedings

DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory held a Flow Cells for Energy Storage Workshop on March 7–8, 2012, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. Flow cells combine the unique advantages of batteries and fuel cells and can offer benefits for multiple energy storage applications. The purpose of the workshop was to understand the applied research and development (R&D) needs and the grand challenges for the use of flow cells as energy storage devices. The workshop began with a series of speaker presentations discussing past and current R&D. Two separate breakout sessions were then held to discuss flow cell phenomena and components. The proceedings from this workshop are now available.

New Success Story: DOD-DOE Emergency Backup Power Deployments

As part of an interagency partnership, the DOE and the DOD are collaborating on a project to install and operate 18 fuel cell backup power systems at eight defense installations across the country. The departments are testing how the fuel cells perform in real world operations, identifying improvements manufacturers can make to enhance the value proposition, and highlighting the benefits of fuel cells for emergency backup power applications. In a first-of-a-kind heavy duty use application, a 10 kW fuel cell at Fort Hood provides backup power to a 20 hp air compressor. Read the full Success Story.

FCT Office Fact Sheets

The FCT Office recently released several fact sheets and they are available on our website. Fact sheets are quick to read and can be used as handouts.

Recovery Act Fact Sheet

Fuel cell Recovery Act projects were some of the first to hit the ground running. With nearly $42 million of Recovery Act funds and an additional $54 million in cost-share funding from industry participants, more than 1,100 fuel cells have been placed into the market, exceeding the original target of 1,000. More than 500 Recovery Act fuel cell power systems for lift trucks and more than 600 fuel cells for backup power for cell phone towers have been deployed. Combined, these fuel cells have just surpassed one million hours of operation. Learn more about the Recovery Act projects in a new fact sheet.

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

Illinois Institute of Technology

Earlier this month, Dr. Vijay Ramani, a Principal Investigator with the DOE, was awarded the 2012 Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award of the Energy Technology Division from the Electrochemical Society. Dr. Ramani and his team are currently researching the synthesis of multi-functional electrolyte and electrode materials for polymer based electrochemical systems, analysis of the source, and distribution of overpotentials in electrochemical systems, and mitigation of degradation in electrochemical device components. Dr. Ramani is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and he also holds an Extraordinary Professorship in Chemical Resource Beneficiation at Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2009, the ONR Young Investigator Award in 2010, and a 3M Non-tenured Faculty Award in 2010.