Fuel Cell and Hydrogen

Energy Connection
August 2012
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News
Federal Program News
RFP/Solicitation News
About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News


Obama Administration Finalizes Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards - Includes Incentives for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles


On August 28th, the Obama Administration finalized the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards which will be increased to 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025.  The standards include incentives for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), putting them on par with battery electric vehicles (BEVs).


The incentives for FCEVs and BEVs consists of a 2.0 credit multiplier for the vehicles beginning in Model Year 2017, which will be phased down to 1.5 by Model Year 2021.   The multiplier approach means that these vehicles would count as more than one vehicle in the manufacturer's compliance calculation.


Incentives for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles are also included.  The Final Rule issued states that CNG vehicles were included because the natural gas infrastructure "could serve as a bridge to use of advanced technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells." 


The Department of Transportation (DOE) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a press release on the announcement available here.  The Final Rule itself can be found online here.


Fuel Cells 2000 Publishes State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2012


On August 27, Fuel Cells 2000 has published their latest State of the States annual report, "Fuel Cells in America 2012."  Highlighting achievements made on a state by state basis, the report confirms that the U.S. is still a leader in the fuel cell industry.


Several advances made over the last year were featured in the report, including the deployment of 1,700 new fuel cell-powered forklifts, 25 fuel cell busses placed or planned for transit service, and more than 74 megawatts of stationary power installed or purchased in the United States. 


The 2012 report expands on previous iterations to include nine separate top five states lists.  The categories are Fuel Cell Vehicles Deployed, Fuel Cell Busses, Fuel Cell Forklifts (Deployed or Ordered), Hydrogen Fueling Stations, Telecom Backup Power Systems (Reported), Stationary Fuel Cell Systems (Installed), Stationary Fuel Cell Systems (Planned), Share of US Fuel Cell Patents (From 2002-2012), and Successful Fuel Cell Policies.


The Fuel Cells 2000 report is available one line here.


Larson and Blumenthal to Introduce Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Legislation


U.S. Representative John Larson (D-CT) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) announced on August 22 that they plan to introduce legislation to improve fuel cell and hydrogen energy infrastructure and increase federal incentives for fuel cell technology.  The announcement was made at FuelCell Energy's facilities in Torrington, Connecticut.


In a press release statement, Congressman Larson stated "Our economic recovery depends on smart, forward thinking investments that will help us build a stronger future for everyone. That's why I'm excited about the potential of fuel cells and hydrogen energy." 



Congressman Larson's press release can be found here.  FuelCell Energy's press release on the announcement is available here.


Toyota Announces Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Sedan to be Rolled out in 2015


On Wednesday August 8, Jim Lentz, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., gave a speech at the 2012 Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar confirming plans to roll out a hydrogen fuel-cell sedan in 2015.  Toyota revealed the FCV-R, a fuel cell sedan concept vehicle, at the Toyota Motor Show in November of last year.


Toyota's FCV-R Concept Car Announced at the Tokyo Motor Show in November 2011


On August 15, E&E News published an extensive report on Toyota's announcement.  The article mentions that following the announcement from Toyota, a hydrogen fueled Lexus sedan was spotted in California being filled up by an Air Products mobile hydrogen refueler, a photo of which is below.



The E&E article goes on to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing automakers as they gear up for the deployment of FCEV fleets, featuring quotes from a number of industry sources, including several FCHEA members. 


Toyota's press release is available online here, the E&E article can be found here, and a gallery of pictures of the Toyota sedan and mobile Air Products fueling station can be found here.


California Fuel Cell Partnership Releases "The California Road Map: Bringing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to the Golden State"


The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CAFCP) published their statewide hydrogen infrastructure road map, "The California Road Map: Bringing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to the Golden State" last month.  


The document describes the necessary steps to ensure adequate hydrogen infrastructure to support a significant fleet of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) on California's roads. 


The plan recommends the establishment of 68 stations, strategically located in five cluster areas, to support the first 20,000 FCEVs to hit the road.  The plan defines the steps needed to be taken in the stages of pre-commercialization (2012-2014) through early commercialization (2015-2017).


Fuel Cell Today's article on the California Road Map can be found hereThe complete CAFCP report can be found here.


New Haven, Connecticut Installs Fifth Fuel Cell System


The City of New Haven, Connecticut recently installed its fifth stationary fuel cell power system.  A UTC Power Purecell system has been running for about a month powering the 200,000 square foot City Hall and Hall of Records.


Photo by Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register


The system is configured for combined heat and power (CHP) and will generate enough heat to meet 60% of the buildings' heating and cooling needs.


The city currently has fuel cells at 360 State St., the Water Pollution Control Authority, Yale, and one that is shared by Hill Central and Roberto Clemente schools. 


For more about this installation, you can read the New Haven Register's article here.


Toyota Powering Appliances With Fuel Cell Electric Buses


On August 31, Toyota Motor Corporation announced the development of a fuel cell electric bus which can utilize the electricity generated to power electrical appliances.  The buses will have two electrical outlets supplying 1.5 kW at 100 V of alternating current.  With this system, the appliances would connect directly to buses.




Toyota is also developing a Vehicle to Home (V2H) power supply system which will let the buses connect directly to a building supplying power to the existing electrical wiring.  The V2H buses could supply a maximum of 9.8 kW for 50 hours.  The V2H buses will be tested as soon as 2013 and 2014 in Toyota, Japan.


The Toyota press release is available online here.


Shell Offers Free Hydrogen Fill-ups for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles to Generate Data at New Station in Newport Beach, California


Shell, one of the world's largest oil companies, opened a new hydrogen refueling station on Wednesday, August 1, in Newport Beach, California. The Newport Beach station offers free hydrogen to the state's 200 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) owners. It is the ninth public hydrogen station in the state.



According to Matias Sanchez Cane, North American Commercial Manager for Alternative Energies at Shell, the station will provide valuable data to Shell including information on "costs, consumer behavior and how to dispense [the hydrogen] efficiently to different vehicles." 


More information on the station opening is available on the LA Times here.


Hydrogen Fueling Station Opens at London's Heathrow Airport


On Thursday, August 2nd, Air Products announced the opening of its latest hydrogen fuelling station. Located at London's Heathrow Airport, the station was used by the city's Intelligent Energy fuel cell black cabs during the remainder of the Olympic Games.




The station will be publicly accessible and marks the continued integration of a zero emission fleet into London's transportation sector.


More information on this fuelling station can be found here.


Japan's METI to Demand 30 Billion Yen for Hydrogen Infrastructure Deployment and Hydrogen Supply Development


On August 25, Mainichi Japan reported that Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will demand a budget of 30 billion yen (approximately $400 million USD) for the 2013 fiscal year budget. A portion of these funds would be used to develop hydrogen infrastructure to support the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in 2015.  


METI intends to construct about 100 hydrogen refueling stations as to be located in and around Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka creating a hydrogen network within the four metropolitan cities.


The budget appropriation would also be used to fund development of a cheap hydrogen supply system.


More information can be found on Fuel Cell Today's coverage here. The Mainichi Japan article can be found online here.


Ballard Power Expands Customer Base in Southeast Asia


On August 16, Ballard Power Systems announced the receipt of  102 purchase orders for fuel cell generators by two of Indonesia's leading telecom providers. Included in the order are both direct hydrogen ELECTRAgenTM-H2 and methanol fuelled ELECTRAgenTM-ME power systems. Hydrogen powered systems will be used for "short duration runtime backup power" while those running on methanol will meet "extended duration" needs.


Ballard Power's press release is available online here.


New York Times Green Blog Discusses Fuel Cells and Waste-Water Treatment Facilities


On August 16, the New York Times Green Blog published an article titled, "In Fuel Cells, Some Hope for Urban Sanitation."  The articles discusses a fuel cell technology developed by Oregon State University which uses microbial fuel cells to clean waste-water.  The process uses the energy in the waste-water to make the treatment process self-sustaining.


The New York Times article is available online here.


Scotland Announces Plans to Deploy Europe's Largest Fuel Cell Electric Bus Fleet


On August 14th, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond announced funding of 3.3 million to create a clean energy hub in Aberdeen, including the deployment of Europe's largest hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet.  The EU backed project will begin by installing 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses and a corresponding hydrogen fueling station in the city.


Scottish hydrogen hub


The buses will use Ballard Power fuel cell technology while the hydrogen station will be a joint effort between BOC and Scottish & Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD). Both the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise will contribute up to 1.65 million in funding. The project possesses the goal of integrating hydrogen generation and storage technologies into the region's already extensive wind power network.


More information on this project can be found here.


Federal Program News


Secretary of Energy Steven Chu Reaffirms Potential of Fuel Cells in Article Published in the International Weekly Journal of Science, Nature


In the August 2012 issue of Nature, Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu joined former Acting Under Secretary of Energy and former Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Director Dr. Arun Majumdar in publishing an analysis of our nation's energy future. The report analyses the benefits of and obstacles to sustainable energy generation through the lens of the electricity generation and transportation sectors. The article reiterates Secretary Chu's confidence in the applicability of fuel cells to the transportation sector and discusses some of the challenges fuel cell electric vehicle technologies still face.


"The high efficiency of fuel-cell-powered electric vehicles makes this form of electrification a potentially viable option for the future. Investment in this technology is driven by the potential of extended range and faster fuelling times of moderately low-priced cars."


The statement reflects sentiment first voiced by Secretary Chu in late June that technological advances and lower natural gas prices have factored to make fuel cells a promising part of the energy mix.


You can view the full article on Nature's website here.


NREL Report: Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Exceeding Range and Durability Targets


On August 10, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published the results of a seven year study of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).  


The National Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration Final Report evaluated fuel cell electric vehicles from several automotive OEMs on technical targets of achieving a 250-mile driving range and a 2,000 hour fuel cell stack durability.  The National Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration which the Final Report was based on generated data for more than 500,000 individual vehicle trips covering 3.6 million miles and 152,000 kg of hydrogen produced or dispensed.


The Demonstration validated the durability target of 2,000 hours, or the equivalent of 75,000 miles, with one of the four industry teams reaching a projected average durability of 2,521 hours.  The current durability target for 2015 is now 5,000 hours, or 150,000 miles.  The report also validated the goal of achieving a 250-mile range, with one vehicle evaluated as traveling up to 430 miles.


"The project results show that fuel cell electric vehicles have advanced rapidly," said Keith Wipke, acting manager of NREL's Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies Program and the report's lead author.  "As vehicle manufacturers and other researchers worldwide continue to focus on the remaining challenges of balancing durability, cost, and high-volume manufacturability, there is optimism that manufacturers will introduce FCEVs to the market within the next few years."


The project was the product of a strong public-private partnership between NREL, vehicle manufacturers, energy companies, and state organizations.


NREL's news release can be found here.  The full Final Report can be found here.


Thirteenth Annual SECA Workshop Held in Pittsburgh


The 13th Annual Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Workshop was held July 24-27 in Pittsburgh. Hosted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the workshop helps industry personnel stay up to date with the latest breakthroughs in solid state technology. Attendees experienced two days of technical presentations, keynote speakers, poster presentations, and a number of technical and industry panels.


James Warner, Director of Policy and External Affairs, attended on behalf of FCHEA.


All presentations for the workshop are available online here.


Office of Naval Research Continues Commitment to Fuel Cells


On August 9, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced a contract awarded to UTC Aerospace Systems' legacy Hamilton Sundstrand to develop an air independent Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) power system for an undersea vehicle. The contract is part of ONR's Long Endurance Undersea Vehicle Propulsion (LEUVP) Program and will combine the expertise of UTC Aerospace Systems, UTC Power, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.


It is hoped that the PEMFC technology developed under this contract will help replace existing battery systems, providing greater energy stability and operational flexibility to the U.S. Navy.


This marks the third ONR funded fuel cell development project in the past three months, and the second contract announced in August, as ONR seeks to expand the capabilities of our armed forces. On May 29th, NexTech Materials received an ONR contract to develop a compact energy system for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and on August 8th, Lockheed Martin secured a contract to develop solid oxide fuel cell generators for battlefield power generation.


UTC Aerospace's press release can be found online here.  Lockheed Martin's press release can be found online  here.  Nextech Materials' press release can be found online here.


Department of Energy to Fund Seven Projects for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Research


On July 27th, the Department of Energy announced over $3.4 million in funding for seven research projects to advance the development of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The projects will focus on advancing cathode performance, stability, and durability, increasing efficiency, and lowering system costs. All research will be overseen by the Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and will seek to meet the goals of the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA).


A complete list of projects receiving funding can be found here


DOE Webinar August 14: Material Characterization of Storage Vessels for Fuel Cell Forklifts


The Energy Department presented a live webcast titled Material Characterization of Storage Vessels for Fuel Cell Forklifts on August 14, 2012, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar focused on the results of a study conducted by Sandia National Laboratories that investigated the fatigue life of steel pressure vessels, commonly used for the transport of pressurized gases, including gaseous hydrogen. 


RFP / Solicitation News


SBIR Funding Opportunity Announcement: Includes Innovative Approaches Toward Discovery and/or Development of Ultra-Low- and Non-PGM Catalysts for PEMFCs and Non-PGM Catalysts for AFCs 


The Department of Energy has issued its FY 2013 Phase I Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000760) for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Topic 10 C is "Innovative Approaches Toward Discovery and/or Development of Ultra-Low- and Non-PGM Catalysts for PEMFCs and Non-PGM Catalysts for AFCs." Qualified small businesses with strong research capabilities in science or engineering in any of the research areas sought in the announcement are encouraged to apply. 


The deadline for receipt of Phase I "letters of intent" is September 4, 2012, 5:00 pm EDT.


The Funding Opportunity Announcement is available at
FedConnect. The title of the Funding Opportunity Announcement is "SBIR/STTR FY 2013 Phase I Release 1."
Request for Proposal (RFP) for Deployment of Fuel Cell-Based Auxiliary Power Units for Refrigerated Trucks Now Available from PNNL

The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has issued an RFP for the analysis and demonstration of fuel cell-based auxiliary power units, or APUs, for refrigerated trucks. The project aims to accelerate market deployment of fuel cell-based APUs. Commercial trucks using APUs for their refrigeration units could realize significant cost, fuel, and emissions savings and reduced engine wear. 


The RFP and accompanying information can be found here


Department of Energy Issues Request for Information on Status and Availability of High Accuracy Hydrogen Meters


The Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Program has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to investigate the current or near-term status and availability of high accuracy hydrogen meters.  These meters are needed to meet accuracy requirements while acting under hydrogen fueling conditions.

Based on available information, commercially available meters are not capable of meeting the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST's) Handbook 44 measurement accuracy requirements for hydrogen while being used under recommended fueling conditions, such as those in the SAE J2601 guidelines.

Accordingly, the Fuel Cell Technologies Program seeks information from stakeholders (including both users and manufacturers of hydrogen meters) regarding the status of meters that can meet the NIST accuracy requirements, while also performing under hydrogen fueling conditions such as those proposed in SAE J2601 guidelines.


For details, see the RFI announcement DE-FOA-0000753: HIGH-ACCURACY HYDROGEN METERS or email questions concerning the RFI toh2meters@go.doe.gov with "Question" in the subject line. 


RFI responses must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, September 21, 2012.  


Call for Presentations Announced for the 8th Annual Hydrogen Embrittlement Workshop


A call for presentations has been announced for the 8th Annual Hydrogen Embrittlement Workshop.  The Workshop will be held on November 15 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, GA in conjunction with the Fall 2012 ASTM F07.04 Subcommittee Meeting.


The workshop is the only annual technical meeting devoted to hydrogen embrittlement testing technology for the aerospace industry, and is an ideal setting for exchanging ideas with, and obtaining feedback from, your technical colleagues in the hydrogen embrittlement testing community.


Presentation Titles can be submitted via e-mail by Sept. 30, 2012 the Worskshop Chairpersons, Ed Babcock at ed.a.babcock@boeing.comand Steve Gaydos at stephen.p.gaydos@boeing.com.


CSA Issues Call for Experts

CSA has issued a call for experts on the below topics:

  • Hydrogen Station and Components for Fuelling Powered Industrial Trucks TAG [HPIT 2] - Forklift manufacturers, HPIT station manufacturers
  • Breakaway Devices, Manual Valves and Automatic Valves TAG [HGV 4.4, HGV 4.6 and HGV 4.7] - Hydrogen valve manufacturers
  • Hydrogen Material Compatibility TAG [CHMC 1] - Experts in the field of rubbers and polymers and how they react when exposed to hydrogen at various temperatures and pressures.
Anyone interested in participating in these topics can contact Steve Tucky of CSA by email at steve.tucky@csagroup.org.

About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection




Press releases and story ideas may be forwarded to Connor Dolan and Karen Hall for consideration at  cdolan@fchea.org and  khall@fchea.org respectively.


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Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association --  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the world's premier advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies.  Its membership represents the full spectrum of the supply chain from universities, government laboratories and agencies, fuel cell materials, component and system manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users. (http://www.fchea.org/)


National Energy Technology Laboratory --  The National Energy Technology Laboratory is federally owned and operated.  Its mission is "We Solve National Energy and Environmental Problems."  NETL performs, procures, and partners in technical research, development, and demonstration to advance technology into the commercial marketplace, thereby benefiting the environment, contributing to U.S. employment, and advancing the position of U.S. industries in the global market. (http://www.netl.doe.gov)
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