About the H-Prize
The H-Prize was established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to be a series of competitions to encourage and reward innovations and advances in hydrogen energy technologies. Since it was initiated, two competitions have been held, with the second competition resulting in the award of the $1 million prize in January 2017.
Future H-Prize Competitions
With the original H-Prize appropriations awarded, the U.S. Department of Energy 's (DOE 's) Fuel Cell Technologies Office plans to hold future competitions in the spirit of the original H-Prize legislation, looking to award America's innovators for advancements in research and development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
Recently, the DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting stakeholder feedback related to the H2@Scale concept on opportunities to enable high-volume production and multisector use of hydrogen. The objective of this RFI is to assess the domestic resources compatible with large-scale hydrogen production, as well as to identify pathways to effectively leverage these resources for near- and long-term use in major industries. In addition, the RFI seeks ideas to promote the widespread adoption of hydrogen as a viable energy storage/transport/utilization option for large-scale energy- and/or chemical-sector applications, as well as for potential H-Prize competition topics.
Stay tuned for future H-Prize competitions!
H2 Refuel H-Prize Competition
In October 2014, DOE launched the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize challenging America's engineers and entrepreneurs to develop systems for small-scale hydrogen fueling. The prize targeted systems used at homes or multi-user sites to supplement the current development of hydrogen fueling station infrastructure. On January 19, 2017, DOE announced SimpleFuel as the winner of the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize Competition.
Competition Plan and Prize
The H2 Refuel competition ran from October 2014 through January 2017. In the first year, contestants had 12 months to find partners, design a system, find a place to install the system, and register for the prize before submitting data and designs to a team of independent judges. The judging panel evaluated the submissions, and based on their evaluation, SimpleFuel was announced as the finalist on January 29, 2016. They then had several months to build, install, and prepare their system for testing.
During the testing and data collection period, which ran from September 2016 through December 2016, the finalist had to demonstrate that its system met the competition criteria and minimum requirements as outlined in the guidelines to win the $1 million prize. SimpleFuel held an open house on November 9, 2016, providing an opportunity for the public to see their system.
Over the testing period, more than 180 kilograms of hydrogen were dispensed and the data collected showed that SimpleFuel's system met both the technical and cost criteria as outlined in the final competition guidelines, making them the winner of the H2 Refuel H-Prize.