WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it is accepting applications for a total of up to $74 million in funding to support fuel cell research and development for stationary and transportation applications. The funding includes up to $65 million over three years for continued research and development on fuel cell components, such as catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies, with the goal of reducing costs, improving durability, and increasing the efficiency of fuel cell systems. The funding also includes up to $9 million to conduct independent cost analyses that will assess the progress of the technology under current research initiatives and help guide future fuel cell and hydrogen storage R&D efforts.

Fuel cells use the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity or heat with minimal byproducts, primarily water. Stationary systems are used in buildings, while transportation systems are used in vehicles such as commercial forklifts, buses, and automobiles.

DOE will be funding research and development initiatives related to fuel cell system balance-of-plant components, fuel processors, and fuel cell stack components such as catalysts and membranes, as well as innovative concepts for both low and high temperature systems to help meet commercial viability targets in terms of cost and performance. Applicants will likely include teams of university, industry, and national laboratory participants.

The cost analysis funding opportunity will help to determine the economic viability and technical progress of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for stationary, transportation, and emerging market applications, such as stationary power plants, as well as hydrogen storage systems. Under the program, the grantees will be expected to conduct life cycle cost analyses for different manufacturing volumes to help gauge the near-term, low-volume market viability for these technologies, along with their long-term potential.

For more information on DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program, visit www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/.

Publication date:01/10/2011