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US DOE to award $4M to support projects on hydrogen delivery technology for fuel cell vehicle refueling

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award at least $4 million (subject to appropriations) (DE-FOA-0000821) to support research and development efforts for hydrogen delivery technology for fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) refueling. DOE’s long-term goal of production and delivery research and development (R&D) is a high-volume hydrogen cost goal of $2-$4 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) (produced, delivered and dispensed, but untaxed) to allow FCEVs to be competitive on a dollar per mile basis with gasoline in hybrid electric vehicles.

Delivery’s portion of that cost goal is $1-$2/gge hydrogen. The solicitation seeks to move technologies towards reaching that cost target by addressing the cost of hydrogen compression, storage, and dispensing at the fueling station. The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) identifies three topics of interest:

Forecourt hydrogen compressors for 700 bar gaseous dispensing. DOE is seeking applications for R&D at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 or higher for the development of gaseous and liquid compression systems for the delivery of gaseous hydrogen at a minimum pressure of 875 bar to allow for 700 bar gaseous dispensing.

(To dispense hydrogen at 700 bar in the FCEV tank quickly, (i.e. to the SAE J2601 protocol) the pressure at the point of delivery must be at least 875 bar to ensure the required flow rate is achieved during the delivery.)

Applicable compressor technologies include, but are not limited to, diaphragm; reciprocating; centrifugal; advanced liquid pumps; screw; ionic liquid; electrochemical compression; and other alternative compression technologies.

Proposed compressions systems must be oil free or include, and sufficiently demonstrate, the ability to perform gas cleanup which results in hydrogen that is compliant with quality standards. Compression systems may include the integration of more than one type of compression but must meet targets for small compressors (i.e. on the order of 100 kg/hr) in order to enable cost competitive hydrogen delivery.

Applications must show a feasible pathway for the technology to achieve a throughput of 100 kg H2/hr at inlet pressures of 20 bar and an isentropic efficiency of at least 73%.

Deliverables of the proposed work must include cost analysis of the design and a demonstration of reliable delivery at ≥10 kg H2/hr. For the purposes of this FOA, the applicant needs to provide a plan to demonstrate a 2x improvement in lifetime compared to the current status of the proposed technology.

Integrated Intelligent Hydrogen Dispensers for 700 bar Gaseous Refueling of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles. The integrated intelligent dispenser includes the hose, meter, and control system necessary to delivery hydrogen safely per the SAE J2601 Technical Information Report (TIR) using a Type A dispenser for fast-fill capability. Intelligent controls should allow the dispenser to adapt to other fill methods as necessary.

DOE is encouraging proposals which include the development of innovative, low-cost components for robust communication to replace the current IR technology are encouraged. The dispensing accuracy must reach at least 5% over the full range of operation; the conditions range from -40 °C to +85 °C, at flow rates between 2 - 60 g/s and at service pressures up to 875 bar. Designs are encouraged which exceed the 5% target and move the technology toward meeting the 1.5% system accuracy and other requirements as defined in NIST Handbook 44.

Designs must be developed to be compliant with SAE J2600, SAE J2799 and other applicable refueling and dispenser standards. The dispenser must also be capable of refueling vehicles to the J2601 TIR Type A fills and able to maintain the fuel quality to meet the SAE J2719 standard.

In addition to the development and prototyping of the new dispenser technology deliverables of the proposed work must include the demonstration and verification of the dispenser’s ability to communicate with vehicles during fills and to provide robust dispenser operation during back-to-back fills at -40 °C and 875 bar.

DOE encourages proposals which demonstrate the potential of the proposed dispenser design to meet the technical requirements and to meet the 2015 dispenser high volume capital cost target of $40,000. Designs which do not advance the technology beyond the current capability and designs which use infra-red communication are discouraged.

Forecourt hydrogen storage at 875 bar or greater. DOE will consider designs which are projected to meet the DOE cost targets of <$1,000/kg H2 stored at pressures of 875 bar or greater. Projects proposing high pressure tube trailers that will remain onsite at the forecourt will be considered provided they are also projected to meet 2020 cost and pressure targets for tube trailers.

The storage system refers to the storage vessel and any required peripheral components (e.g. valves, fittings, heat exchangers (if applicable), etc.). The scalability and footprint of the storage system should be considered for versatility in applications. The storage system should ideally be applicable to various forecourt locations, such as urban forecourts, rooftops, and underground storage.



Is it dangeurous these tanks in fuelcell cars and suvs?


Dangerous .... in relation to gas and/or NG tanks and large battery packs? Not necessarily or inherently more so?


I would develop adsorbants to carry H2 at 1000 psi rather than 10,000.


It will sooner than many expect.


Just look at all the wiggling, squirming and thrashing about DOE is doing. At least they are only wasting 4 million on it this time.

Rather than generating pure Hydrogen and have all the handling, storage and transportation problems that come with it, why don't we just combine it with some other element to make a safe material that won't have all of pure H's problems.

What would be a good one?

Lots of good candidates. Methane and methanol are obvious.

Ammonia is a good one, too: no need to find carbon, as nitrogen is right there in the atmosphere (carbon is too, of course, but at much lower concentrations which are a bit annoying to deal with).


Methanol and DME are good. Diesel hybrid DME makes good buses and trucks that are cleaner and more efficient.


pissing away money


$4 million won't even cover routine monthly maintenance for one of 50 B2 bombers, who is "pissing" what away?

Roger Pham

Successful implementation of H2 as a fuel in daily transportation, a most permeating gas that can go through even many metals, at incredible pressures of 700 bar, rarely used in the a testament to the ingenuity of human. Yet, it is happening, scheduled to arrive by a 7-11 near where you live, eventually.

The DOE has increasingly raised the bar higher and higher in giving out awards. This is a testament to the rapid advancement of H2 technologies and programs and projects. THe motivation for all this is clear: H2 is the most efficient and least expensive synthetic fuel to make, as well as being the cleanest.

A H2 fuel tank at 700 bar is practically bullet-proof, unlike a lithium battery that can burn or explode if hit by foreign debris, like what's been happening recently. The H2 tank will remain intact even in collisions so severe that no one can survive, unlike a gasoline tank that often explodes on often survivable impacts. The H2, if leaked from a cracked tank or ruptured piping, will immediately fly skyward, being such a light gas of extreme buoyancy, instead of hanging around and burn up everything around.


Don't forget that Hydrogen is not a fuel.

Roger Pham

Huh...H2 is not a fuel? Stuff that you put in a tank in your car to power it, to combine it with O2 to provide energy...Then, what is a fuel?


From Wikipedia


Once manufactured, hydrogen is an energy carrier (i.e. a store for energy first generated by other means).The energy can be delivered to fuel cells and generate electricity and heat, or burned to run a combustion engine. In each case hydrogen is combined with oxygen to form water. The heat in a hydrogen flame is a radiant emission from the newly formed water molecules.



Under that analysis petrol and coal are also just energy carriers, not fuel, as both consist of energy first generated by other means, ie solar and photosynthesis.

The distinction you are seeking to make between a fuel and an energy carrier is one without any meaning.


I am not making this shit up. What I reference here is widely accepted by science. I will not argue this with anyone here. Do your homework.

Bob Wallace

The distinction between a fuel/energy carrier that we have to create and one that is already created is important.

We need to look at hydrogen and other synthetic fuels created from electricity as "storage systems". They are methods of storing electricity for future use which puts them in a class along with batteries, pump-up hydro, CAES and other storage technologies.


Fuel Definitions

A fuel is a substance that releases usable energy either through:

a nuclear reaction such as fission or fusion

an oxidation-reduction reaction with an oxidizer

In a combustion (burning) reaction the fuel is burnt in oxygen.
The oxidizer is oxygen.
All combustion reactions are exothermic, energy (mainly heat) is released.

Explosions are forms of combustion.
In an explosive combustion reaction, the fuel is exploded (as in a car engine) releasing mechanical energy

In a fuel cell reaction the fuel is allowed to react in an electrochemical cell and electrical energy is released.

Fuels can be divided into three groups:

Biomass Fuels: these depend directly on the photosynthetic conversion of sunlight into plant matter.

Examples: food-stuffs, animal wastes, wood
These may be used directly as fuels or converted into more usable forms such as biogas or alcohols.

Fossil Fuels: these derive their energy from photosynthesis in the long distant past, the living matter having been modified by geological activity such as high temperature and pressure over a long period of time.

Examples: coal, oil, natural gas

Nuclear Fuels: depend on the nuclear forces within atoms.

Examples: uranium-235, plutonium-239

Fuels can be classed as renewable or non-renewable

Renewable fuels: are those derived from biomass sources (plants) or from the conversion of solar energy into chemical energy

Non-renewable fuels: are those derived from fossil sources (coal, oil, natural gas) or minerals (nuclear fuels)

Bob Wallace

The distinction between a fuel/energy carrier that we have to create and one that is already created is important.

We need to look at hydrogen and other synthetic fuels created from electricity as "storage systems". They are methods of storing electricity for future use which puts them in a class along with batteries, pump-up hydro, CAES and other storage technologies.


The Space Shuttle used to use hydrogen and oxygen as rocket FUEL, I don't recall them referring to the H2 as an energy carrier.

I understand the distinction calling hydrogen an energy carrier, but I don't see becoming hung up and obsessed by those definitions productive.

Bob Wallace

And I think it important to remember that when we are speaking of using H2 to power our vehicles what we would actually be doing is going from electricity -> H2 -> electricity.

We need to compare the cost with the cost of going from electricity -> battery -> electricity.

Some of us get so very, very excited about the idea of H2 FCEVs but fail to remember how lossy H2 is as an energy storage technology.


"hung up and obsessed" ?

Millions of taxpayer dollars are being pissed away reinventing the Hydrogen wheel and comment pointing it out is non-productive?

$450,000 was the energy cost to launch a Space Shuttle. The cost per gallon - equivalent - was $9.10.

If our Hydrogen "experts" are going to profess their well thought out convictions about H2, at the very least they need to review High School Chemistry on the subject.

A quick quiz:

1. Hydrogen is a non-metallic element. What changes it to a metallic substance?

2. How many isotopes does Hydrogen have and what are they used for?

3. How many Neutrons are in the Hydrogen atoms Nucleus?


Whatever Lucas, you can talk to yourself from now on.

Roger Pham

I remember having discussed this with you before:
The cost of Electricity -> Battery -> Electricity is TWO TIMES of Electricity -> H2 -> Electricity.

Please reconsider the following: 1) Battery costs $300-400/kWh for about 1000-2000 charging cycles or calendar life of 10 years.
2) H2 tank costs $15/kWh for indefinite life while FC stack costs $49/kW going down to $35/kW.
3) RE to grid electricity delivered to the home socket to your PEV charger costs nearly twice as much as RE directly to H2 (bypassing the grid!).

I did the math for you before, you can dig up our previous discussion, or you can do the math again! In conclusion: Electricity to H2 to Electricity costs less than 1/2 that of Electricity to Battery to Electricity!


Why would I care if a close-minded person read anything I wrote?

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