The DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program 2012 Annual Progress Report is encouraging on many different levels especially in light of the recent economy, cutbacks and unemployment rate in general. I will attempt to outline some of the main points of this document as they apply to hydrogen autos and vehicles.
According to the DOE Introduction:
- “The Fuel Cells sub-program continued to reduce the projected high-volume manufacturing cost of automotive fuel cells, which in 2012 was estimated to be $47/kW. This represents a reduction of 36% since 2008 and more than 80% since 2002. The 36% reduction since 2008 stems in part from a reduction in platinum group metal (PGM) loading and an increase in cell power density, allowing the design of smaller and less expensive stacks.”
- “Modified catalysts with highly active and durable oxygen evolution met all performance milestones in 2012. By enhancing oxygen evolution capability, these catalysts suppress excursions to high voltage, and thus mitigate corrosion that would occur during startup, shutdown, and fuel starvation conditions. Additionally, a humidifier containing a novel composite membrane and including an integrated module design is projected to meet the cost target of $100 (for a humidifier in an automotive fuel cell system) when manufactured at high volumes.”
- “In FY 2012, the Hydrogen Production sub-program continued to focus on developing technologies to enable the long-term viability of hydrogen as an energy autorier for a range of applications, including stationary power, backup power, specialty vehicles, transportation, and portable power. Progress continued in several key areas, including biomass gasification, reforming of bio-derived liquids, electrolysis, solar-thermochemical hydrogen production, photoelectrochemical (PEC) hydrogen production, and biological hydrogen production.”
- “In addition to its light-duty vehicle demonstrations, since 2010, the sub-program has been collecting and analyzing data from 17 second-generation fuel cell buses. As of August 2012, one of these buses had exceeded 12,000 hours of operation, and efficiencies up to twice as high as those of diesel buses have been demonstrated.”
- “Successful DOE deployments of fuel cells (including deployments from ARRA funding as well as Market Transformation projects) have led to industry orders of more than 3,600 fuel cell forklifts and more than 1,400 fuel cell backup power systems, with no additional DOE funding. For example, as a result of deployments of fuel cell lift trucks at the Sysco food distribution center in West Houston, Texas, Sysco is planning to deploy 900 or more fuel cells at seven sites over the next 24 months.”
- “The Program will continue to pursue a broad portfolio of RD&D activities for fuel cell applications across multiple sectors. Efforts will span the full spectrum of technology readiness, including: early market applications that are already viable or are expected to become viable in the next few years, such as forklifts, backup power, and portable power applications; mid-term markets that are expected to emerge in the 2012-2015 timeframe, such as residential combined heat and power systems, auxiliary power units, fleet vehicles, and buses; and longer-term markets that are expected to emerge in the 2015-2020 timeframe, including light-duty passenger vehicles and other transportation applications.”
As you can see there is too much information to pack into one blog post. See for yourself more information at the links provided below.
External DOE Links
The full report can be found at this link:
The introduction / overview can be found here: