Eventually hydrogen will join electricity as the major energy carrier, supplying every end-use energy need in the economy, including transportation, central and distributed electric power, portable power, and combined heat and power for buildings and industrial processes. But today, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are currently in the pre-production stage of development, and the infrastructure to refuel them does not currently exist. The DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program is sponsoring a variety of projects to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of integrated hydrogen and fuel cell systems in real-world situations that are consistent with early transition strategies.
This DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program activity is focused on field tests and evaluation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and technical validation of integrated systems in real-world environments.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is sponsoring "learning demonstrations" to build and evaluate complete system solutions that address all elements of infrastructure and vehicle technology, validating integrated hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for transportation, infrastructure, and electric generation in a systems context under real-world operating conditions. Data will be collected to determine whether targets have been met under realistic operating conditions, to provide feedback on progress, and to efficiently manage the research elements of the program and provide redirection as needed. The Office of Fossil Energy is also conducting demonstration and validation activities regarding hydrogen and hydrogen-natural gas mixtures in advanced engines, such as homogeneously charged compression ignition (HCCI) engines.