The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to $130 million over three years, subject to Congressional appropriations, to advance the development and use of fuel cells for automotive, stationary, and portable power applications.
In addition to seeking proposals for R&D projects in the areas of transportation, stationary, and portable power, DOE is also seeking proposals to demonstrate fuel cells in distributed energy systems and to support market transformation that provide real-world operation data.
The FOA is requesting applications for hydrogen fuel cell systems in seven topic areas:
|Technical Targets for Electrocatalysts for Transportation Applications|
|Platinum group metal total content (both electrodes)||G/kW (rated)||0.3||0.2|
|Platinum group metal (PGM) total loading||mg PGM/cm2 electrode area||0.3||0.2|
|Durability with cycling
Operating temp ≤80°C
Operating temp >80°C
|Electrochemical area loss||%||<40||<40|
|Electrocatalyst support loss||mV after 100 hours @ 1.2V||<30||<30|
|Mass activity||A/mg Pt @ 900 mViR-free||0.44||0.44|
|Specific Activity||µA/cm2 @ 900 mViR-free||720||720|
|Non-Pt catalyst activity per volume of supported catalyst||A/cm3 @ 800 mViR-free||>130||300|
- Catalyst Studies, including ultra-low PGM (platinum group metals) cathode catalysts; non-PGM catalysts; and durable anode catalysts;
- Innovative Concepts for fuel cell and system materials and component structures;
- Fuel Cell Degradation Studies, including accelerated testing validation and system and air impurities effects;
- Transport within the PEM Stack, including both transport studies and freeze effects;
- Portable Power, including improved materials for portable power and portable electronics balance of plant and packaging;
- Fuel Cell System Demonstrations, including stationary PEM power systems and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power systems; and
- Market Transformation Activities, including emergency backup power systems and fuel cell powered material handling equipment.
The DOE anticipates making up to 50 awards through this competitive funding opportunity, which is open to industry, universities, and national laboratories. With a minimum 20% private sector cost share for the R&D projects and a minimum 50% applicant cost share for the demonstration projects, the total DOE and private sector investment in advanced hydrogen fuel cell technologies under this funding opportunity may exceed $170 million.
The DOE strongly encourages teaming arrangements among industry (such as fuel cell developers, catalyst/membrane suppliers, and component developers), federal laboratories, and universities to take advantage of the best complementary expertise and technologies available from the different organizations.
A separate National Laboratory Call (DE-PS36-08GO98010), titled “Laboratory Call for Research, Development, and Demonstration of Fuel Cell Technologies for Automotive, Stationary, and Portable Power Applications,” offers opportunities for National Laboratories to submit applications as primary applicants.
The two announcements are parallel to each other and projects will be evaluated and selected using the same criteria. The total DOE funding available for all new awards selected from both announcements is estimated to be $130,500,000 over 2-4 years, with no predetermined division of funding between the two announcements.
Applications for the fuel cell funding opportunity are due on or before August 27, 2008, with funding subject to appropriations from Congress.
In addition to the FOA opportunity, the DOE expanded its own fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles with the addition of a GM Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle.
DOE’s new Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell electric vehicle is a zero emissions vehicle powered by hydrogen and will be used to transport DOE employees to official events and meetings in the Washington, DC area.
Research, Development, and Demonstration of Fuel Cell Technologies for Automotive, Stationary, and Portable Power Applications (Funding Opportunity Number: DE-PS36-08GO98009)