US DOE calls for more knowledge on hydrogen fuel cells
The U.S. Department of Energy has had a turbulent past with hydrogen fuel cells. The agency, once lead by Secretary Steven Chu, had considered fuel cells to be an overly complex problem that had little to offer the country’s renewable energy endeavors. The stance of the agency has changed over the past two years as fuel cells have become more efficient and affordable, leading the Department of Energy to provide more support for this often misunderstood form of renewable power. Now, the agency has issued a call for information concerning the validity of fuel cell technology.
Fuel Cell Technologies Office reaches out to the fuel cell industry
The Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office has issued a Request for Information concerning the capabilities of hydrogen fuel cells. The agency’s fuel cell division is seeking knowledge from stakeholders in the fuel cell industry, hoping to attain more insight on the deployment activities seen throughout the fuel cell industry. The information that the agency is seeking mostly falls in the realm of commercialization, a subject that has proven somewhat problematic for the fuel cell industry in the past.
Commercialization proves elusive for fuel cell industry
The commercialization of hydrogen fuel cells has been very difficult. Several fuel cell developers have managed to find success in niche markets, such as the materials handling space, but most have not attained the market momentum necessary to achieve full commercialization for their products. This is often attributed to the cost of hydrogen fuel cells, which is often times high enough to discourage their adoption in many parts of the world. The Fuel Cell Technologies Office is not only concerned with the cost of fuel cells, however, and is eager to acquire more information concerning other aspects of commercialization.
Infrastructure and storage are areas of interest for Fuel Cell Technologies Office
Some of the areas that the Fuel Cell Technologies Office is interested in are refueling protocols, hydrogen fuel infrastructure, water electrolysis technologies, and delivery technologies for hydrogen fuel. Storage and infrastructure are major issues facing hydrogen fuel cells that have long held back their adoption. The Fuel Cell Technologies Office is eager to use the information it can acquire from the fuel cell industry in order to overcome these challenges.