Fuel cell technology advancing rapidly according to NREL report

Fuel cell technology advancing rapidly according to NREL report

August 13, 2012 0 By Bret Williams

NREL announces the end of expansive fuel cell experiment

In the U.S., the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced the completion of a seven-year project that examined the viability of hydrogen fuel cells as used in transportation as well as the capabilities of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure in a real world setting. The project was ambitious in scope and is behind the Department of Energy’s rekindled interest in hydrogen fuel cells. Through the lengthy experiment, NREL notes that fuel cell technology has received promising advances that could lead to their commercialization.

Report provides data concerning hydrogen-powered vehicles and infrastructure

NREL’s experiment represents the largest of its kind in its focus on hydrogen transportation and infrastructure. NREL has published the results of the experiment in the National Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration Final Report. The report has collected data from more than 500,000 individual journeys of hydrogen-powered vehicles, representing 3.6 million miles. The report also examines data concerning the production of more than 152,000 kilograms of hydrogen fuel.

Fuel cells developing rapidly due to support form the auto industry and others

NREL notes that the results of the experiment show that hydrogen fuel cells have developed rapidly over the past seven years, outpacing the development of some other clean technologies. The momentum of technological progression is due, in part, to the support of the global auto industry. Most of the world’s largest automakers have taken an acute interest in hydrogen fuel cells and have been working on developing more efficient and durable models. The report also notes that hydrogen production technologies have advanced at a rapid pace.

More work needed, but fuel cells hold great potential

The report is designed to highlight the advances that have come to the world of hydrogen fuel. According to NREL, these advances may make it possible for the fuel cell industry to reach the market goals that have been set for it in the U.S. Though the report notes that much work is yet to be done, the advances that have been made have brought some significant promise to the fuel cell industry as a whole.


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