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

Fuel Cell Technologies Office

Systems Integration

The breadth and complexity of the overall Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program RD&D effort, as well as the interaction of program elements, requires an integrated approach to reduce risk and maximize the potential for success. The focus of systems integration is to understand the complex interactions among program areas, components, and the tradeoffs between them. Systems Integration ensures all requirements are being addressed, tracks and measures the progress of projects, conducts independent analyses to aid the decisions that need to be made over the course of the program, supports a performance-based management approach, and identifies and quantifies programmatic and technical risks to ensure the program is proactive in response to issues and challenges.

Systems Integration supports the Program by applying systems engineering and project management principles in all its activities. Activities include development of an integrated baseline with associated budget and schedule projections, conducting independent reviews and peer reviews on technical progress, and application of technical management controls. Systems Integration has also supported systems analysis activities directly to ensure proper technical integration across the Program.

Systems Integration has four focus areas:

  • Systems Integration Processes. The processes include modeling and analysis, data and information management, management processes and systems (developing change control and risk-management systems), and interface management (between systems and between subsystems within a system).

  • Integrated Baseline. Establishes and integrates the technical and programmatic baselines. The technical baseline describes the system performance requirements that must be met to achieve DOE goals that specify functional performance and costs of components and systems. Budget and schedule projections are included in the baseline, and the baseline is used to analyze options and scenarios with potential budget increases and reductions.

  • Analysis of the System. Analysis of alternative strategies, technologies, and systems for satisfying the functions and requirements of the future clean energy economy and the program's progress against the plan. A macro-system model has been developed and is being improved to better support the necessary analyses.

  • Verification of Technical Performance. The process for evaluating progress and making recommendations based on review of system requirements and technology validation results. Systems Integration holds annual reviews of most of the Program's projects and coordinates independent peer review panels reviewing specific program issues.

To learn more about DOE's systems integration activities, see: