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DOE announces $4 million in funding for advanced hydrogen storage projects

The US Department Energy has announced up to $4 million in funding for fiscal year 2014, for the continued development of advanced hydrogen storage systems and novel materials to provide adequate onboard storage for a wide range of applications.

The Department of Energy recognises that advances in hydrogen storage will be critical to the widespread commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), and in emerging mobile fuel cell applications such as materials handling equipment.

Developing systems to enable lightweight, compact, and inexpensive hydrogen storage will enable longer driving ranges and help make fuel cell systems competitive in a range of applications.

The projects selected will help maintain the rapid pace of fuel cell progress, expand the markets and applications in which fuel cells can compete, and reduce institutional and market barriers that may impede the commercialisation of hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

The key topic areas include:

  • Topic 1: Reducing the cost of compressed hydrogen storage systems. Projects selected under this topic will develop complete, cost-competitive, compressed hydrogen storage systems such as novel tank designs, cost reduction concepts, carbon fibre reduction or elimination, conformable tank designs, alternative operating conditions (e.g. cold/cryogenic compressed hydrogen), and advanced state-of-the-art compressed tank manufacturing.
  • Topic 2: Improved materials for fibre composites and balance-of-plant (BOP) components. The selected projects will focus on the development of cost-competitive high-strength fibres and composite components such as use of less expensive precursor fibres, use of low-cost carbon fibre manufacturing processes, development of improved resin matrices, or development of alternative materials to carbon such as glass or polymers. In addition, these projects will develop improved, cost-competitive materials for BOP components, including the identification and characterisation of 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 3: New hydrogen storage materials discovery for automotive, portable, and materials handling equipment applications. Projects selected under this topic will focus on the discovery, characterisation, and development of advanced hydrogen storage materials. Applications for materials discovery will focus on materials that possess key thermodynamic, kinetic, and capacity requirements for complete storage systems, to meet the challenging system targets for automotive and emerging non-automotive applications.

DOE will make available up to $4 million in fiscal year 2014 for projects from industry, academia, and national labs. Up to three awards are anticipated based on currently available fiscal year 2014 funding.

More information, application requirements, and instructions can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website.

The presentation (PDF) and a Q&A document (PDF) from the May 2013 pre-solicitation meeting are also available.

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