The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) recently announced a collaboration on hydrogen and fuel cell safety research and development (R&D) data sharing. In the spirit of this collaboration, DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office says SimpleFuel, winner of the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize, is now exporting one of the world’s first hydrogen refueling appliances to Japan.
With this first U.S. export of cutting-edge technology innovation to Japan, the H-Prize showcases how federal prizes can be used to incentivize American entrepreneurs to accelerate technology advancement. The H2 Refuel H-Prize competition successfully challenged America’s innovators to deploy an on-site hydrogen generation system to fuel hydrogen vehicles, which can be used in homes, community centers, small businesses, or similar locations.
SimpleFuel’s home scale refueling appliance can provide a 1-kilogram fill to vehicles in 15 minutes or less at 700 bar using hydrogen produced via electrolysis, with a cost-effective design that minimizes setback distances and reduces the physical footprint of the system.
SimpleFuel is a collaboration of three companies: IVYS Energy Solutions (Massachusetts), McPhy Energy N.A. (Massachusetts), and PDC Machines (Pennsylvania). This approach complements the conventional retail fueling stations currently being funded by states and the private sector.
With support from the Japanese Environmental Ministry of the Central Government, the SimpleFuel appliance will run on solar or grid electricity for use with a Toyota Industries fuel-cell forklift truck at the Kesen Precut Cooperative. Kesen manufactures high quality wood and wood chip products for the Japanese market with two production facilities in Sumida Town and Rikuzentakata.
Administered for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Hydrogen Education Foundation, the two-year H2 Refuel H-Prize competition asked applicants to design, install, and test refueling systems used in homes, community centers, businesses, or similar locations to generate and dispense hydrogen to small fleet vehicles. Home fueling projects like these could be an integral part of the continued deployment of hydrogen infrastructure across the country to support more transportation energy options for U.S. consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
Hydrogen infrastructure remains the most critical barrier to the widespread adoption of FCEVs. Both government and industry are focused on identifying actions to encourage early adopters of FCEVs, by conducting coordinated technical and market analysis and leveraging other alternative fueling infrastructure to enable cost reductions and economies of scale.
For example, infrastructure being developed for alternative fuels such as natural gas, as well as fuel cell applications including combined heat and power, backup power and fuel cell forklifts, can help pave the way for mainstream hydrogen vehicle infrastructure.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy