The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $7 million over five years for independent cost analyses that will support research and development efforts for fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems.
Hydrogen storage and fuel cells haven't been in the news much compared to other forms of clean energy in last few years, but the market is growing fairly rapidly.
Four projects - in California, Ohio, and Virginia - will generate cost estimates for manufacturing equipment, labor, energy, raw materials, and various components. The estimates will be used to identify ways to drive down production costs of transportation fuel cell systems, stationary fuel cell systems, and hydrogen storage systems.
DOE says the projects will provide important data that will help focus future research and development funding to deliver the greatest gains in efficiency.
The projects will analyze a range of system sizes, manufacturing volumes, and applications, including transportation, backup power and material-handling equipment such as forklifts.
Directed Technologies, Inc. of Arlington, VA will receive up to $3 million for two projects - one focused on transportation fuel cell systems for light-duty vehicles and buses, and the other on hydrogen storage systems.
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, CA will receive up to $1.9 million to develop total cost models for low- and high-temperature stationary fuel cell systems up to 250 kilowatts (kW). The project is expected to yield accurate projections of current system costs and assess the impacts of state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, increases in production volume, and design changes on system and life-cycle costs for several near-term and emerging fuel cell markets.
Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH will receive up to $2 million to provide cost assessments for stationary fuel cell applications up to 25 kW, including forklifts, backup power units, primary power, and combined heat and power systems. The project will also provide cost analyses of large-scale fuel cell applications ranging from 100 to 250 kW, such as auxiliary power, primary power, and large-scale combined heat and power systems.