Hydrogen and Fuel Systems

Hydrogen and fuel systems research at the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is enabling hydrogen to be a common means of transporting, storing, and transforming energy at the scale necessary for a clean and vibrant economy.

Photo of three researchers talking while looking at a hydrogen electrolyzer.

At the ESIF, researchers examine how electrolyzers, hydrogen storage, fuel cells, and other hydrogen technologies can be integrated into today's energy systems and help industry solve current technical challenges in bringing these technologies into the marketplace.

The ESIF includes multiple specialized capabilities to develop, characterize, fabricate, manufacture, and validate fuel cell and electrolyzer components and systems and integrate renewable fuels with the grid, transportation, buildings, and other sectors.

The ESIF Advantage

Electrolyzer Stack Evaluation Platform

Researchers use the Electrolyzer Stack Evaluation Platform to examine the issues related to using renewable energy sources for producing hydrogen via the electrolysis of water. NREL works with industry collaborators to evaluate integrated electrolysis systems up to 1 MW scale and investigate design options to lower capital costs and enhance performance and durability. NREL was among the first to characterize the responsiveness of electrolyzers and is performing simulations and experiments at the ESIF to determine how electrolyzers can most effectively be integrated onto the grid to provide energy storage and grid support.

Energy Sciences Laboratories

The energy sciences laboratories at ESIF are dedicated to advancing technology through research, development, testing, and evaluation. Hydrogen and fuel cell systems researchers are using these laboratories to develop advanced hydrogen detection technologies, evaluate the electrochemical properties of novel materials, develop and test advanced materials and cells for fuel cells and electrolyzers, research hybrid bio-electrochemical processes and advanced cell concepts, and develop methods to scale up renewable energy technology manufacturing.

Hydrogen Systems and Infrastructure Research Platform 

NREL's hydrogen systems and infrastructure research platform integrates hydrogen production, compression, storage, and dispensing into a unified system for developing new infrastructure technologies to enable safe fueling for heavy-duty hydrogen trucks and reduce the cost and improve reliability of fueling hydrogen fuel cell cars. These capabilities make it possible to evaluate a range of hydrogen station configurations and associated control strategies, investigate the cause of failures, capture performance data, and correlate findings with real-world data―enabling manufacturers to improve component design, lower costs, and reduce downtime.

Learn more about NREL's hydrogen and fuel cell research.


Keith Wipke

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies Lab Program Manager