The Fuel Cell Technologies Office conducts work in several key areas to advance the development and commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
Research, Development, and Demonstration
Key areas of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) include the following:
Fuel Cell R&D, which seeks to improve the durability, reduce the cost, and improve the performance of fuel cell systems, through advances in fuel cell stack and balance of plant components
Manufacturing R&D, which works to develop and demonstrate advanced manufacturing technologies and processes that will reduce the cost of fuel cell systems and hydrogen technologies
Technology Validation, which demonstrates and validates pre-commercial technologies before the deployment phase.
To ensure that advances in the laboratory can be realized in the marketplace, the Fuel Cell Technologies Office conducts a range of activities to address economic and institutional barriers:
Education and Outreach activities aim to increase public awareness and understanding of the technologies, facilitating the implementation of near-term demonstration projects and early market fuel cell installations, while easing the way for long-term market adoption.
Market Transformation activities provide financial and technical assistance for the use of hydrogen and fuel cell systems in early market applications, with the goals of achieving sales volumes that will enable cost reductions through economies of scale, supporting the development of a domestic industry, and providing feedback to testing programs, manufacturers, and potential technology users.
Safety, Codes & Standards efforts develop information resources and best practices to address safety issues, and to provide critical information needed for technically sound codes and standards—these efforts in codes and standards will be ongoing as new technologies emerge and mature.
The National Research Council and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee provide technical and programmatic advice for DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) was established under Section 807 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Selected in June 2006, committee members advise the Energy Secretary on issues related to hydrogen and fuel cell technology development. For more information about HTAC, its committee members, and related publications, visit the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program website.
National Research Council
The National Academy of Sciences, through its National Research Council (NRC), reviews the research and demonstration programs of DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program every fourth year as directed by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The NRC is administered jointly by the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine through the NRC Governing Board. For more information about NRC and related publications geared toward DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program, visit the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program website.
These working groups involve DOE-funded researchers and provide a forum to facilitate research and communication related to various aspects of hydrogen and fuel cell technology development. Visit the links for information about ongoing work, technical targets, meetings, and contacts.
- Bio-Derived Liquids to Hydrogen Distributed Reforming Working Group
- Catalysis Working Group
- Durability Working Group
- High Temperature Membrane Working Group
- Hydrogen Pipeline Working Group
- Photoelectrochemical Working Group
- Storage Systems Analysis Working Group
- Transport Modeling Working Group
- Water Electrolysis Working Group
The Fuel Cell Technologies Office funds the following lab-led consortia to coordinate national laboratory research and development activities and serve as a resource for universities and industry. The office will add innovative projects to the consortia through future lab calls and Funding Opportunity Announcements, subject to appropriations.
- ElectroCat: The Electrocatalysis Consortium (ElectroCat) is an initiative to accelerate the development of catalysts made without platinum group metals (PGM-free) for use in automotive fuel cell applications.
- FC-PAD: The Fuel Cell Consortium for Performance and Durability (FC-PAD) aims to enhance the performance and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, while simultaneously reducing their cost.
- HydroGEN: The HydroGEN Advanced Water Splitting Materials consortium focuses on advanced water splitting materials, initially for the photoelectrochemical, solar thermochemical, and advanced electrolytic hydrogen production pathways.
- HyMARC: The Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC) aims to address unsolved scientific challenges in the development of viable solid-state materials for storage of hydrogen onboard vehicles. Better onboard hydrogen storage could lead to more reliable and economic hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
H2@ Scale is a concept that describes the potential of wide-scale renewable hydrogen production to dramatically reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. DOE, with input from national labs, industry, regulatory bodies, utilities, and other stakeholders, is developing a roadmap to research, development, and demonstration activities that can enable hydrogen as an energy carrier at a national scale.
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.
Partnerships and International Activities
Cooperative hydrogen and fuel cell technology R&D will play a central role in advancing the transition to widespread adoption of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
H2USA is a public-private collaboration focused on addressing the key challenges of hydrogen infrastructure.
Member countries across the globe address the technological, financial, and institutional barriers to widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells.
This multinational partnership coordinates research, development, and deployment programs to advance the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.