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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

Fuel Cell Technologies Office Newsletter: March 2012

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

In the News

Energy Department Awards More than $5 Million to Reduce Cost of Advanced Fuel Cells

The Energy Department on March 27 announced the investment of more than $5 million in two projects—led by 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Eaton Corporation in Southfield, Michigan—that will lower the cost of advanced fuel cell systems by developing and engineering cost-effective, durable, and highly efficient fuel cell components. In support of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil, the 3-year projects were awarded under DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000360 and will focus on meeting specific cost targets and boosting the performance of fuel cell systems for vehicles and stationary applications, such as stand-by power systems. These investments are a part of the Department's commitment to U.S. leadership in innovative fuel cell technologies that give American families and businesses more options that reduce petroleum use.

H-Prize Competition Feedback Requested

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office seeks feedback from interested parties on H-Prize Competition topics that will incentivize innovative advances in the field of hydrogen energy. Areas of interest for topics include hydrogen production, distribution, and utilization. The H-Prize was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and authorized the Department of Energy to competitively award prizes for advances in hydrogen energy technologies. The purpose of the H-Prize is to accelerate the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by offering prizes to motivate and reward outstanding scientific and engineering advancements. This RFI solicits ideas for potential H-Prize topics that have the ability to capture the interest of a broad range of audiences to raise the visibility of the prize and of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies among stakeholders and the public, as well as attract the interest of the investment community.

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.

Fuel Cell Technologies Office Celebrates Earth Day

Join us at DOE headquarters on Thursday, April 19, to celebrate Earth Day. The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell team will have an exhibit at DOE's annual Community Day located outside of the main entrance on L'Enfant Promenade. Stop by and say hello.

Check out our events calendar to see an up to the minute listing of our upcoming events.

Funding Opportunities

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

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on March 20 announced up to $10 million available this year to demonstrate and deploy electric transportation technologies for cargo in severe nonattainment areas. The Energy Department's support for the development and demonstration of innovative alternative vehicle technologies is helping reduce the nation's reliance on gasoline and diesel and diversifying our nation's energy portfolio. The Administration's investments in advanced vehicles are part of a comprehensive strategy to cut America's oil imports, develop clean alternative fuel vehicles, and help protect American families and businesses from spikes in oil prices. The Department seeks applicants for this funding to demonstrate cost-effective zero emission cargo transport systems and collect detailed performance and cost data to analyze the benefits and viability of this approach to freight transportation.

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

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

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

As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil, the Energy Department announced up to $2 million available this year to collect and analyze performance data for hydrogen fueling stations as well as to demonstrate innovative technologies related to hydrogen infrastructure. By collecting data from advanced hydrogen fueling stations, the Energy Department will track the performance and technical progress of innovative refueling systems operating in real-world environments to find ways to lower costs and improve operation. Responses are due by Friday, May 11.

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

Responses to the previously announced "Light-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Data Validation" Funding Opportunity Announcement are due by Monday, April 30.

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

Webinars and Workshops

Upcoming Webinar: America's Next Top Energy Innovator Runner-Up to Present Hydrogen Detection Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy will present a live webinar on April 3, 2012, featuring Element One, Inc., runner-up in America's Next Top Energy Innovator competition, which will present its hydrogen detection technologies. Element One, of Boulder, Colorado, developed and patented a unique family of hydrogen and gas sensing technologies that form the basis for a wide array of low cost and reliable gas detection systems. This technology has the potential to dramatically reduce costs while improving the ability to detect leaks wherever such gases are used, whether it be as a feedstock, reagent, or fuel.

Studies, Reports, and Publications

Flow Cells for Energy Storage Workshop Presentations

Presentation slides from the Flow Cells for Energy Storage Workshop hosted by DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are now available. The workshop was held 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.

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.