Later this month, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to support the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of affordable hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. EERE’s notice stated that the FOA will focus on key hydrogen delivery and storage technologies and durable fuel cell technologies, particularly for heavy-duty trucks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate pollution from the tailpipe.
DOE identified heavy-duty transportation as a priority market for clean hydrogen and a sector that is more difficult to decarbonize with traditional approaches. Among the near-term action items that DOE seeks to achieve by 2025 is the development of technologies for high throughput dispensing of hydrogen for heavy-duty vehicles. This FOA is expected to help address the need for cost reductions and performance improvements for fuel cell and hydrogen infrastructure technologies and other challenges to the successful implementation of DOE’s national clean hydrogen strategy and roadmap, which we discussed in a prior blog post.
EERE anticipates that the FOA may include four areas of interest:
- Hydrogen Carrier Development: Hydrogen carriers are a unique storage and delivery medium that have the potential to enable efficient, compact, and low-cost transport, on-site generation, and storage of hydrogen across multiple sectors in the economy. They exhibit a wide range of properties and behaviors that allow different hydrogen-rich materials to be matched with the needs of specific and different end uses (e.g., required pressure, temperature, rates of hydrogen release, purity, and cost at scale).
- Onboard Storage Systems for Liquid Hydrogen: Liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage vessels can enable low-cost, energy dense LH2 to be stored on medium- and heavy-duty on-road vehicles. LH2 systems have the potential to meet capacity requirements for medium- and heavy-duty applications and achieve the storage cost target of less than or equal to $8/kWh.
- Liquid Hydrogen Transfer/Fueling Components and Systems: The development of advanced LH2 transfer and fueling components and systems that allow for high-flow LH2 transfers and that address hydrogen losses, materials compatibility, and safety can enable large-scale storage and high-flow transfers of LH2 to be used by medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
- Membrane Electrode Assemblies: Advancing the development of membrane electrode assemblies that will reduce the cost and enhance the durability and performance of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell stacks for medium- and heavy-duty applications will further progress toward meeting the 2030 system-level heavy-duty truck targets of 25,000-hour durability and $80/kW system cost.
EERE expects to issue financial assistance awards in the form of cooperative agreements, and the estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately two to four years. EERE strongly encourages applicants to form teaming arrangements that include multiple stakeholders across academia, industry, and national laboratories and across technical disciplines. If issued, this funding opportunity represents a further commitment to promote and support the development of clean, zero-emission vehicles that could be eligible for tax credits made available by the Inflation Reduction Act to qualified commercial clean vehicles under Internal Revenue Code Section 45W.