NREL and SNL coordinate R&D capabilities and partnerships that are required to remove technical barriers associated with the widespread deployment of hydrogen infrastructure. H2FIRST leverages existing DOE investments in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), and the SNL Center for Infrastructure Research and Innovation (CIRI). This unique capability does not exist elsewhere in the US and includes full-scale system and component testing and cycle-life research in excess of 700 bar hydrogen pressure. The capability is aligned with the following FCTO objectives and program goals:
- Enable an overall hydrogen cost of $2–$4/gge (dispensed and untaxed)
- Enable retail sale of hydrogen in a consumer-friendly environment through the development of effective fuelling protocols and metering.
- Develop, optimize and validate innovative hydrogen fueling architectures capable of producing and dispensing hydrogen at scales relevant to market growth.
The proposed Center for Infrastructure Research and Integration (CIRI) provides a facility for addressing engineering activities while providing a strong link to the science base. Scientific goals for deformation and fracture studies in gaseous hydrogen have the milestones of:
- Qualify high-strength aluminum alloys for hydrogen service in transportation applications. (5 yrs.)
- Provide accurate predictions of hydrogen uptake, diffusion, and interaction with deformation fields resulting in a physics-based assessment of material toughness within 15% of experimental values. (5 yrs.)
- Using outcomes from predictive simulation, identify microstructural modifications in structural steels with potential to improve resistance to hydrogen-assisted fatigue and fracture. (5 yrs.)
- Provide accurate predictions of component residual stresses which, when combined with primary loading stresses, will allow failure assessment predictions to be made with a 50% reduction in current uncertainties. (10 yrs.)
- Validate the transferability of accelerated fatigue testing methodologies to accelerated component performance testing of the relevant structural materials for incorporation in codes and standards. (10 yrs.)