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Program Areas

The DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program is comprised of the following major activities.

Program Management is responsible for program planning, organization, implementation, evaluation, and linkages. Systems Integration and Systems Analysis is responsible for applied research and technology development; basic research; safety, codes and standards; and education. Applied research and technology development allows technical advances and validation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. This includes production which moves into delivery and storage. Production, delivery and storage all move into conversion which moves into validation, learning demonstrations and applications and then the cycle is repeated. Applied Research and technology development goes hand in hand with basic research which enables fundamental understanding and scientific breakthroughs. Safety, Codes and Standards enables R&D to ensure safety and enable development of codes and standards for technology implementation. Education enables communication and training for increased awarenewss and understanding.
  • Hydrogen Production – production of hydrogen from a diversity of energy resources (fossil, nuclear, renewables), using a variety of process technologies (thermochemical, biological, electrolytic and photolytic)
  • Hydrogen Delivery – hydrogen distribution systems for refueling stations and stationary power sites
  • Hydrogen Storage – storage of hydrogen (or its precursors) on vehicles or within the distribution system
  • Conversion/Fuel Cells – conversion of hydrogen to electrical or thermal power; use of hydrogen to power vehicles via polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, for auxiliary power units on vehicles, or for stationary applications
  • Applications/Technology Validation – successful field tests and evaluation; technical validation of systems in real-world environments; learning demonstrations to feedback to and refocus R&D
  • Safety – safety in DOE-sponsored R&D activities and in the market place
  • Codes and Standards – perform underlying research to facilitate development of model codes and standards for domestic and international production, distribution, storage and utilization of hydrogen
  • Education – informing the public about the attributes and use of hydrogen; training of individuals for a hydrogen economy
  • Basic Research – fundamental research on advanced materials for hydrogen storage, fuel cell components, bio-inspired materials, and solar-energy-based hydrogen production; modeling, simulation and analysis of key processes and mechanisms
  • Systems Analysis – supports Program decision-making processes by evaluating existing and emerging technologies through multiple pathways utilizing a fact-based analytical framework to guide the selection and evaluation of R&D projects, and providing a sound basis for estimating the potential value of research efforts.
  • Systems Integration – understanding the complex interactions between components, systems costs, environmental impacts, societal impacts, and system trade offs to develop well-integrated and optimized hydrogen and fuel cell systems