Hydrogen fuel research moves forward in the USFebruary 4, 2013
Department of Energy shows more support for hydrogen fuel
The U.S. Department of Energy has been leery of hydrogen fuel cells in the past, with Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggesting that it would take a miracle for the technology to become viable in the distant future. The federal agency has since revised its outlook on fuel cell technology and has begun investing heavily in its research and development. The agency’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced its acquisition of four Toyota hydrogen-powered vehicles, which will be used to research ways to establish a comprehensive hydrogen fuel infrastructure throughout the country.
Automakers stress need for comprehensive fuel infrastructure
Hydrogen fuel has become a very popular subject in the auto industry, with most of the world’s major automakers adopting the fuel in some way. As these automakers gear up for the commercial launch of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the coming years, the need for a hydrogen fuel infrastructure is becoming more important. An infrastructure is needed for hydrogen-powered vehicles to find the success they need among consumers. Without a comprehensive infrastructure in place, the U.S. may no longer be one of the auto industry’s most favored markets.
NREL to investigate hydrogen fuel infrastructure and fuel cell technology
Toyota’s hydrogen-powered vehicles will be used to research what must be done to bolster the nation’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure. This will include the development of hydrogen production systems and the improvement of fuel cell efficiency. The vehicles will be tested over the next two years and will be fueled through the wind-to-hydrogen project that is part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s National Wind Technology Center.
Two-year project expected to yield positive results
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is approaching the issue in a holistic manner, hoping to address many of the issues that exist with the country’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure. After the two-year project is completed, the Department of Energy expects to have a better understanding of the capabilities of hydrogen-powered vehicles and how to best develop the country’s hydrogen fuel infrastructure.