FuelCell Energy to develop hydrogen fuel production system in the USJune 23, 2014
DOE provides funding for the development of an on-site hydrogen production system
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that FuelCell Energy, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has been awarded $900,000 for its development of an on-site hydrogen production system. This funding comes as part of the agency’s recently unveiled initiative to support the development of hydrogen fuel production and deployment technologies. These technologies are needed to support the growing prominence of clean transportation and will help fuel cells play a more integral role to the country’s energy structure.
Conventional hydrogen production is both expensive and energy intensive
Modern hydrogen production systems are not typically considered efficient, which has made the establishment of a working hydrogen fuel infrastructure somewhat difficult. A comprehensive infrastructure is needed to support new clean vehicles that are beginning to come to the market, but this infrastructure is also needed to support the use of fuel cells across various industries. Without an infrastructure, the U.S. may lose ground as a favored market for the global auto industry, which could have significant economic consequences.
Distributed hydrogen production systems could reduce the costs associated with handling hydrogen
Hydrogen production is often done on a large-scale, with massive amounts of hydrogen being produced at one time. This hydrogen is then stored and delivered to various sites throughout the country. This is an expensive process, as producing hydrogen is quite energy intensive and the transportation costs can be astronomical, especially when insurance coverage is factored into the equation. Distributed hydrogen production systems can reduce these costs, making the development of a working fuel infrastructure a more inexpensive endeavor.
New technology could be a major boon for the transportation sector and the energy structure of the US
The funding provided by the Department of Energy will help FuelCell Energy develop an effective on-site hydrogen production system. If viable, this system could be used throughout the country to produce hydrogen fuel on demand. This could be a major boon for the clean transportation sector, making fuel cell vehicles more attractive and improving the availability of hydrogen fuel throughout the country.