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DOE to issue funding opportunity for R&D for hydrogen storage for vehicles, material handling and portable power

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), on behalf of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), intends to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA)—Research and Development for Hydrogen Storage (DE-FOA-0000827) to support the continued development of advanced hydrogen storage systems and novel hydrogen storage materials supported through the Hydrogen Storage program. DOE plans to issue the FOA in late June or early July 2013.

DOE envisions awarding multiple financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements. The estimated maximum period of performance for each award will be three years. The goal is to enable the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and specifically to provide adequate hydrogen storage for onboard vehicle, material handling, and portable power applications that meet the DOE hydrogen storage targets. FCTO anticipates that the FOA may include the following Topic Areas:

Topic Area 1: Reducing the Cost of Compressed Hydrogen Storage Systems.

Topic 1 will focus on the development of complete, low-cost, compressed hydrogen storage systems. This will include, but is not limited to, novel tank designs and cost reduction concepts; carbon fiber reduction or elimination; conformable tank designs; alternative operating conditions (e.g., cold/cryogenic compressed hydrogen); and advanced state-of-the-art compressed tank manufacturing.

The goal is to develop lower cost hydrogen storage systems, when compared to current 350 and 700 bar ambient temperature pressure tanks, with the potential to achieve the 2017 ($12/kWh) and Ultimate Full Fleet ($8/kWh) hydrogen storage on-board, automotive cost targets, when manufactured at rates of 500,000 systems per year.

Topic Area 2: Improved Materials for Fiber Composites and Balance of Plant Components. Approach 1 in this topic area will focus on the development of low-cost, high-strength fibers and composite components. Proposed approaches may include use of less expensive precursor fibers, use of low-cost carbon fiber manufacturing processes, development of improved resin matrices or development of alternative materials to carbon such as glass or polymers. The goal is to significantly reduce the composite costs for 700 bar pressure systems and achieve the 2017 system cost targets of $12/kWh by:

  • Reducing composites costs by 40% from ~$11/kWh to ~$6.5/kWh when manufactured in high volume; and

  • Lowering the current high strength fiber (i.e., fiber with ultimate tensile strength greater than 650 ksi) cost by at least 50% from $13/lb to approximately $6/lb.

Approach 2 will include the development of improved, lower-cost materials for balance-of-plant (BOP) components. This includes the identification and characterization for materials that can be used to reduce the cost and mass of BOP components for compressed hydrogen systems with an emphasis on seals and non-metallic materials.

Topic Area 3: New Hydrogen Storage Materials Discovery. Approach 1 in this topic area will focus on the discovery of novel, advanced hydrogen storage materials for onboard vehicle storage of hydrogen that have the potential to meet the complete set of DOE 2017 and Ultimate Full Fleet targets for light-duty fuel cell vehicles.

Approach 2 will focus on the development of materials-based advanced hydrogen storage technologies for material handling equipment or portable power systems that have the potential to meet the DOE 2015 and 2020 performance targets. This approach will also require applications to either incorporate the proposed material into a complete prototype hydrogen storage system or address identified material issues, such as low-cost material synthesis or regeneration, for existing prototype systems.


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