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As hydrogen (H2) fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCEVs) continue to roll out in increasing numbers, the infrastructure for fueling them must expand as well. To this end, a new project launched by EERE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office and led by Sandia and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will work in support of H2USA, the public-private partnership introduced in 2013 by DOE and industry stakeholders to address the challenge of H2 infrastructure.
The Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project will draw on existing and emerging core capabilities at the national labs to reduce the cost and time of new-fueling-station construction and improve the stations’ availability and reliability. By focusing on these aspects of the H2 fueling infrastructure, H2FIRST will accelerate and support widespread HFCEV deployment. “HFCEV success largely depends on more stations being available, including in neighborhoods and at work, so drivers can easily refuel,” said Daniel Dedrick (manager of Sandia’s Hydrogen and Combustion Technology Dept.), H2 program manager at Sandia. “With H2FIRST, we’re definitely on the road to making that happen more quickly.” The partners also include several agencies from the State of California.
H2FIRST’s technical goal is to develop and apply physical testing, numerical simulation, and technology validation to help create low-cost, high-performance materials, components, and station architectures. H2FIRST also will collect and distribute data supporting industry’s efforts to reduce integrated fueling system and network costs. Sandia’s Center for Infrastructure Research and Innovation in California and NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility in Colorado will serve as H2FIRST hubs. Sandia’s facilities will develop and test innovative infrastructure technologies to accelerate market readiness, drawing upon Sandia’s broader H2 program, which includes research on storage; delivery; production; systems analysis; and safety, codes, and standards.