Fuel cells are an emerging technology that can provide heat and electricity to buildings and power for vehicles while emitting nothing but water. The Energy Department’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, supports research and development (R&D) that improves the performance and lowers the cost of these systems. The office recently reached a major milestone, with 500 patents resulting from FCTO-supported R&D.
Fuel cell electric vehicles are now widely available in the United States. These passenger vehicles have the driving range, ease of refueling, and performance of today’s gasoline-powered cars while emitting nothing but water.
Widely recognized as the “Oscars of Invention,” the 52nd R&D 100 Awards ceremony took place last week. These awards identify and honor major technological breakthroughs each year. The categories cover industry, academia, and government research. This year, EERE-funded projects won six awards across four of our technology areas: Bioenergy, Fuel Cells/Solar, and Vehicles.
An Energy Department-supported project is addressing these problems by designing, building, and testing a mobile lighting tower powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology, which is quiet and emits nothing but water while generating electricity.
From researchers to project managers to technical experts, there are dozens of EERE staff dedicated to supporting the research, development, and deployment of fuel cells. Thus, we were excited to test drive the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle when the car made an appearance at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Engineers from the Energy Department’s Idaho National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory identified a new way to launch economically viable hydrogen fueling stations for FCEVs in Honolulu, Hawaii, based on a report titled “Hydrogen Fueling Station in Honolulu, Hawaii.” The report’s findings could also have a broad national impact, accelerating the pace of America's growing clean energy economy.
Gasoline is the most commonly used fuel for transportation; however, there are multiple alternative fuels that are making their way to the market. These alternative fuels include propane, natural gas, electric hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, and bio-diesel. Students will probably have heard of some of these alternative fuels, but they may not understand how and why they are better then ordinary gasoline.