The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) is seeking feedback from the research community, relevant stakeholders, and industry on technical and economic barriers for fuel cell-related technologies. (RFI DE-FOA-0001510)
Specifically, FCTO seeks information regarding: R&D needs to improve performance and reduce cost of bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs); the high startup cost for hydrogen refueling stations, which may be caused by extensive installation and permitting efforts or low equipment utilization; and innovative research topics that may not currently be part of the FCTO portfolio but could potentially be appropriate for future efforts or funding opportunity announcements.
Bipolar plates are projected to be one of the highest fuel cell cost items at high production volumes and are a key component in determining fuel cell performance and durability of an automotive fuel cell system. Bipolar plates that meet performance and cost targets established by FCTO are part of the strategy for meeting overall system cost targets.
|DOE technical targets for bipolar plates
|Plate H2 permeation coefficient
|Std cm3/(sec cm2Pa)
@ 80°C 3 atm 100% RH
|<1.3 x 10–14
|No active peak
|<1 and no active peak
|Areal specific resistance
|>34 (carbon plate)
The other major factor in commercialization of automotive PEMFCs is availability and cost reductions of hydrogen fuel. DOE attributes the high cost of hydrogen fuel to the fuel cell vehicle user in part to permitting on a site without existing gaseous fuel such as compressed natural gas or the lack for fuel demand by privately owned vehicles to cover the high capital equipment investment.
In this area, DOE is looking for information on the co‐location of hydrogen stations with existing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations and the feasibility of mobile hydrogen refueling delivery services.
FCTO is specifically interested in information on cost avoidance and its effect on fuel prices.
Responses are due by 25 March 2016.