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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

Fuel Cell Technologies Office Newsletter: May 2012

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

In the News

Energy Department Announces Milestone in Fuel Cell Use

Over the last three years, nearly 1,200 fuel cells have been deployed in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks. This investment is a part of the Department's commitment to U.S. leadership in innovative fuel cell technologies to give American businesses more options to cut energy costs and reduce petroleum use. "Supported in part by the Recovery Act, these projects underscore the President's commitment to American-made energy and increasing energy security," said Dr. David Danielson, the Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Targeted investment in critical fuel cell research, development, and deployment will help spur American ingenuity and increase our competitiveness in the global clean energy economy. Fuel cells are an important part of our energy portfolio and these deployments in early markets are helping to drive innovations in fuel cell technologies across multiple applications."

DOE Hosts Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation

The DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program held a joint peer review meeting with the Vehicle Technologies Program May 14–18, 2012, in Arlington, Virginia. The Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR) showcased projects from hydrogen, fuel cell, and advanced vehicle technologies principal investigators representing the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Office of Science. This year's AMR had more than 1,800 of the nation's top scientists, engineers, and researchers representing government, national laboratories, academia, and industry in attendance. Almost 400 hydrogen and fuel cell presentations and 200 hydrogen and fuel cell posters were reviewed.

Presentations and posters on project status and results are available in the 2012 Annual Merit Review Proceedings.

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program presented its annual awards on May 16. Each year, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program presents "Program Awards" for outstanding contributions to the overall efforts of the Program and "Sub-Program Awards" to recognize exceptional achievements in specific areas. Learn about the award winners.

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

Funding Opportunities

Deadline Extended for Light-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Validation Data Funding Opportunity

DOE has extended the application deadline for the Light-Duty Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Validation Data funding opportunity announcement. Applications are now due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 18, 2012.

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

Requests for Information

Request for Information (RFI) about Hydrogen Storage for Material Handling and Portable Power Applications

The DOE has issued an RFI seeking feedback from stakeholders regarding the proposed performance, durability, and cost targets for hydrogen storage sub-systems designed for material handling and portable power fuel cell applications. DOE is asking for industry information about the relevance and appropriateness of the suggested target values including recommendations and justification for any targets that are not currently addressed. All responses must be provided no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2012.

Request for Information (RFI) on Fuel Cells for Material Handling and Backup Power Applications

The DOE has issued an RFI seeking feedback from stakeholders regarding the proposed performance, durability, and cost targets for fuel cells designed for backup power and material handling applications. DOE is asking for industry information from developers, manufacturers, end users, and other stakeholders about the target values, as well as the current status of fuel cells for these early market applications. All responses must be provided no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 30, 2012.

Webinars and Workshops

Upcoming Webinar: BNL's Low-Platinum Electrocatalysts for FCEVs

On June 19, the DOE will present a live webinar on Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL's) low-platinum electrocatalyst work. Electrocatalysts developed by BNL scientists can reduce the use of costly platinum and increase the effectiveness of fuel cells for use in electric vehicles. Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for fuel cells, but platinum-based catalysts are expensive, unstable, and have low durability. 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. In addition, BNL has developed an innovative method for making the catalysts and an apparatus design used in manufacturing them. N.E. Chemcat Corporation, Japan's leading catalyst and precious metal compound manufacturer, announced that it has licensed both the electrocatalyst technology and the manufacturing process. Check back for registration information soon.

Webinar: DOE Launches JOBS and economic impacts of Fuel Cells (JOBS FC) Analysis Model

On May 22, 2012, DOE presented a live webinar featuring a new modeling tool for estimating the economic benefits of fuel cells in early market applications. The tool, called "JOBS and economic impacts of Fuel Cells (JOBS FC)," estimates the number of jobs created by deploying fuel cells in forklifts, backup power, and prime power applications. Slides and a recording of the webinar are available.

Visit our website to see webinar archives or workshop presentations.

Studies, Reports, and Publications

Recent Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Program Accomplishments

DOE's efforts have greatly advanced the state of the art of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies—making significant progress toward overcoming many of the key challenges to widespread commercialization. DOE has also made major advances by demonstrating and validating the technologies under real-world conditions, supporting early markets through Recovery Act deployments, and leveraging domestic and international partnerships to advance the pace of commercialization. View the program's recent accomplishments.

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.

Fuel Cell Lift Truck and Emergency Backup Power Deployment Records Posted

Two new records have been added to the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Record Database regarding fuel cell lift truck and emergency backup power deployment. Record #12013 states that successful DOE projects have led to over 1,300 emergency backup power industry installations and on-order units with no DOE funding. Record #11014 states that successful DOE projects have led to over 3,500 fuel cell lift truck industry installation and on-order units with no DOE funding. The DOE develops data records to document key numbers, facts, and calculation methods that are often cited or referenced by the program's plans, reports, Web pages, announcements, speeches/presentations, and news releases.

Fuel Cell CHP System Targets Announced

In collaboration with stakeholders through workshops, subsequent discussion, and an extensive gap analysis study, the DOE has established performance, cost, and durability targets for medium-scale (100 kW- 3 MW) and micro-scale (1-10 kW) combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems operating on natural gas for 2015 and 2020. Record #11014 focuses on medium-scale systems while Record #11016 focuses on micro-scale. These new records can be found in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Record Database, which includes key numbers, facts, and calculation methods that are often cited or referenced by the program's plans, reports, Web pages, announcements, speeches/presentations, and news releases.

Fuel Cell Deployment Information Requested

Successful Recovery Act deployments have led to industry orders of more than 3,500 fuel cell forklifts and more than 1,300 fuel cell backup power installations with no DOE funding. These projects support domestic fuel cell manufacturers — helping to create high-tech manufacturing jobs, and keep these jobs in the U.S. The DOE has created fuelcelldeployments@ee.doe.gov in order to continue to track industry installations and pending orders. Please send new deployment, installation, or sales order information to this email address to ensure accurate data and to be included in future deployment data calls.

Fuel Cell Durability Data Collection Call

Stakeholders interested in participating in fuel cell data collection can now email fuelcelldatacenter@ee.doe.gov to learn more about the DOE's analysis and benchmarking activities. The DOE has funded significant R&D activity with universities, national laboratories, and the fuel cell industry to improve market competitiveness of fuel cells. Most of the validation tests to confirm improved fuel cell stack performance and durability are completed by the research organizations themselves. Although this allows the tests to be conducted by the developers most familiar with their specific technology, it also presents a number of challenges in sharing progress publicly because test conditions and data analysis take many forms, and data collected during testing are often considered proprietary. The purpose of this request for participants is to increase the collaborative effort with key fuel cell developers to understand what is being tested in the lab, study analysis results, and expand the included data sets.

National Laboratory Achievements

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LNNL)

In May 2012, LLNL was awarded a Pollution Prevention Award from the National Nuclear Security Administration in recognition of their performance in integrating environmental stewardship practices that help to reduce risk, protect natural resources, and enhance site operations. LLNL won this award with their EERE-supported demonstration of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Two hydrogen buses, one a 12-passenger and a second 8-passenger with wheel chair capability, were integrated into the taxi fleet used to transport employees. In addition to use as employee shuttles on and off campus, the buses were also extensively showcased throughout the local community to help raise public awareness of the benefits and safety of hydrogen technologies. The hydrogen buses reduced the use of traditional diesel-powered buses onsite, and were among the most heavily used in the DOE bus demonstration program, logging a combined 7,561 miles. The Fuel Cell Technologies Office would like to congratulate Bob Glass and his team.

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

Sandia National Laboratories received the Federal Laboratory Consortium's Excellence in Technical Transfer Award for their fuel cell mobile light project. With support from EERE, Sandia developed the light tower to meet a need for portable, indoor lighting that can be operated safely and continuously without ventilation. Used in the construction, aviation ground support, and entertainment industries, the vast majority of similar mobile lighting is powered by diesel combustion engines. A fuel cell-powered mobile lighting system running on hydrogen produced from renewables used in lieu of a diesel engine reduces NOx and PM emissions by nearly 100%. Fuel cell powered mobile lighting also significantly reduces noise, achieving near silent operation. The Fuel Cell Technologies Office would like to congratulate Lennie Klebanoff and his team.

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)

Dr. Radoslav Adzic, an inventor of an innovative nanocatalyst for fuel cell vehicles, was named the 2012 Inventor of the Year by the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) for work he and his team did that will effectively reduce the cost required to produce hydrogen fuel cells. Dr. Adzic was presented his award on May 22 at the Princeton Club in New York, New York.