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DOE issues $6M request for proposals for H2@Scale projects

21 August 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for proposals (H2_AT_SCALE_CRADA_CALL) for research projects that address the Hydrogen at Scale (H2@Scale) concept (earlier post), which enables wide-scale production and use of hydrogen to address issues such as grid resiliency, energy storage and security, domestic job creation, and domestic leadership in innovation.

In 2016, DOE national laboratories identified the potential of hydrogen to decarbonize deeply a multitude of sectors in a proposal termed “H2@Scale”. Preliminary analysis performed by the national laboratories on the H2@Scale concept indicated that nearly a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is possible by 2050 via such large-scale hydrogen production and use.

Through this request from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) seeks to double the impact of its funding in the applied research portion of its portfolio, with a focus on techno-economic modeling and analysis; materials compatibility R&D; grid simulation and electrolyzer testing; materials and component manufacturing R&D; development and use of co-products from hydrogen production; and performance verification of hydrogen equipment to inform R&D.

This request for proposals also seeks to increase industrial and stakeholder engagement in H2@ Scale through investment and leadership of the associated projects.

The H2@ Scale concept aims to develop transformational technologies that reduce the cost of hydrogen production and distribution, diversify the feedstock available for economic hydrogen production, enhance the flexibility of the power grid, reduce emissions through novel uses of low-cost hydrogen, generate jobs, and provide global technology leadership for export of next-generation energy solutions.

The DOE seeks qualified applicants to participate in cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) projects with the H2@ Scale national laboratories consortium. With support from FCTO, within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, selected project partners will be granted access to H2@ Scale facilities, capabilities, and expertise at DOE national laboratories.

Example H2@Scale Topics. Click to enlarge.

Selected projects must include one or more national laboratories and shall also include partners from one or more of the following: industry, universities, nonprofits, institutes, codes and standards organizations, associations, or other relevant stakeholders. Proposals will be due by 15 September 2017.

The maximum individual total project cost is $1,000,000 per project; however, the target range for total project cost is expected to be from $50,000 to $300,000 per project. Partners must provide participant cash contribution of at least 50% of the total funding for the project, so the maximum DOE cost share available per project is $500,000.

In-kind contributions are allowed, but must be in addition to the 50% cash cost share requirement. A total of approximately $6,000,000 in DOE funding may be available to be cost shared by these CRADA projects resulting in about $12,000,000+ in project value for all projects. While non-federal cost sharing is preferred, non-FCTO federal funds may be permitted as cost share.

For domestic institutions of higher education, domestic nonprofit entities, or US State, local, or tribal government entities, the cost-share requirement is 10%. The maximum DOE cost share per project would be $900,000 for a project with a total cost of $1,000,000. As above, the cost share must be funds-in. In-kind contributions are allowed but must be in addition to the 10% cash cost share requirement.

FCTO anticipates making multiple awards, subject to the availability of funding, and the project selections will continue to be announced until all funds are allocated.

Proposals submitted with a higher degree of funds-in allocations will have a greater likelihood of being considered for funding. No adjustments are expected for the estimated total DOE funding available for this call (approximately $6,000,000), but adjustments may be made in the total project value (about $12,000,000) depending upon the ratio of industry to university, nonprofit, or government projects that are selected.

The H2@Scale concept has been built with participation from several national laboratories. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) are the lead labs based on coordination with DOE and on FY 2017 appropriations along with ongoing projects and capabilities. Other laboratories involved include Ames National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).

August 21, 2017 in Hydrogen, Hydrogen Production, Hydrogen Storage | Permalink | Comments (2)


H2 FCs are completely unsuited for application of EVs. The "well to wheels" efficiency is so horribly inefficient that its just a waste of time to even contemplate on it. The presently most economical method of H2 production is cracking NG, which in no way alleviates environmental pollution; employing electrolysis to produce H2 from H2O (water) is a waste of energy resources.
A non-subsidized 100kW H2 FC is more expensive than a complete BEV with the same power rating. Additionally, H2 is an "escape artist" and cannot be stored without diffusion losses; the higher the pressure of the storage contrivance, the more rapid and higher the losses.
An FC vehicle, scheduled for corrective maintenance, underlies time consuming preparation (expensive). For safety reasons, the pressure of the stored H2 must be at or below 500 PSI. A fresh fill at a station to 800 PSI must be reduced accordingly. All the pipes, valves etc. targeted for inspection must be flushed with nitrogen (inert) before pertinent work can be initiated.
Who pays for all this? Of course all the H2 enthusiasts! Or maybe your friendly FC MFR?

Early days but new possibilities.
Amonia NH3.
Vapourpoint -2.2 oC
@ 20oC the gauge reads 33.5 psi~ 2.5bar

This recent announcement on membrane material that enables Ammonia as H carrier shows trials starting in 2018.
"We think that we can export hydrogen in the form of liquid ammonia.
"Our target markets are going to remorselessly be decarbonising their energy sources - we could be exporting fuel without any carbon in it."

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