Fuel cells, hydrogen storage get DOE bump

Four fuel cell and hydrogen storage research and development projects are getting a $7 million boost from the Obama administration.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said the funding, to be spent over five years, will “provide important data that will help the Department focus future research and development funding on the fuel cell components and manufacturing processes that can deliver the greatest gains in efficiency.”

The funding will be used in projects in Ohio, California and Virginia. Manufacturing equipment, labor, energy, raw materials and various components will be looked at to identify ways to drive down production costs of transportation fuel cell systems, stationary fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage systems.

Direct Technologies, based in Arlington, Va., will receive up to $3 million dollars for two projects. The first will focus on transportation fuel cell systems for use in vehicles including light-duty vehicles and buses.

The  second will analyze the cost of hydrogen storage systems and cost parameters including capital equipment, raw materials, labor and energy to gain an understanding of system cost drivers and future pathways to lower system costs.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is slated to receive $1.9 million to develop total cost models for low- and high-temperature stationary fuel cell systems up to 250 kilowatts (kW).

Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, 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.

Kristy Hessman, EarthTechling