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Systems Analysis

NREL's hydrogen systems analysis activities provide direction, insight, and support for the development, demonstration, and deployment of a broad range of hydrogen technologies.

Analysis focuses on hydrogen production, storage, and delivery systems for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as well as stationary fuel cells and emerging-market applications such as material handling and backup power.

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H2FAST: Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool

Delivers in-depth financial analysis for hydrogen fueling stations.

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The Scenario Evaluation and Regionalization Analysis (SERA) model integrates detailed geographic data, hydrogen infrastructure and supply chain costs, sustainability metrics, and financial analyses within an optimization framework.

NREL's hydrogen systems analysts evaluate R&D goals and perform resource assessments, techno-economic comparisons, market-potential projections, and financial modeling of stakeholder decisions and investment risks. Analysts also develop least-cost scenarios for hydrogen infrastructure rollout in support of the large-scale deployment of FCEVs.

NREL hosts stakeholder workshops to increase coordination among decision makers, raise awareness, develop strategic thinking, and provide input to improve analysis modeling activities.

Learn more about NREL's hydrogen systems analysis data and tools.


The following webinars from the U.S. Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Office include presentations by NREL systems analysis staff.

Overview of Station Analysis Tools Developed in Support of H2USA (May 2015). This webinar provides a basic introduction to two new models designed to address key technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deploymentthe Hydrogen Refueling Station Analysis Model (HRSAM) and the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST).

Increasing Renewable Energy with Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cell Technologies (August 2014). This webinar explores opportunities for multi-sector integration using hydrogen systems as well as the capability and cost effectiveness of integrating hydrogen systems into electricity markets.

DOE Analysis Related to H2USA (July 2013). This webinar reviews analysis capabilities supporting hydrogen infrastructure expansion efforts associated with the H2USA public-private collaboration.


The following technical reports, workshop proceedings, journal articles, conference papers, and presentations provide more information about NREL's hydrogen and fuel cell system analysis activities and findings.

Technical Reports and Workshop Proceedings

Economic Assessment of Hydrogen Technologies Participating in California Electricity Markets, Joshua Eichman, Aaron Townsend, and Marc Melaina (2016)

Hydrogen Energy Storage: Grid and Transportation Services, Workshop Proceedings, Marc Melaina and Josh Eichman (2015)

Community Energy: Analysis of Hydrogen Distributed Energy Systems with Photovoltaics for Load Leveling and Vehicle Refueling, Darlene Steward and Jarret Zuboy (2014)

Novel Electrolyzer Applications: Providing More Than Just Hydrogen, Joshua Eichman, Kevin Harrison, and Michael Peters (2014)

Renewable Hydrogen Potential from Biogas in the United States, Genevieve Saur and Anelia Milbrandt (2014)

Hydrogen Station Cost Estimates: Comparing Hydrogen Station Cost Calculator Results with other Recent Estimates, Marc Melaina and Michael Penev (2013)

Resource Assessment for Hydrogen Production: Hydrogen Production Potential from Fossil and Renewable Energy Resources, Marc Melaina, Michael Penev, and Donna Heimiller (2013)

Blending Hydrogen into Natural Gas Pipeline Networks: A Review of Key Issues, Marc Melaina, Olga Antonia, and Michael Penev (2013)

Wind to Hydrogen in California: Case Study, Olga Antonia and Genevieve Saur (2012)

Hydrogen Infrastructure Market Readiness: Opportunities and Potential for Near-term Cost Reductions, Workshop Proceedings, Marc Melaina, Darlene Steward, Michael Penev, Shawna McQueen, Sam Jaffe, and Casey Talon (2012)

U.S. Geographic Analysis of the Cost of Hydrogen from Electrolysis, Genevieve Saur and Chris Ainscough (2011)

Wind Electrolysis: Hydrogen Cost Optimization, Genevieve Saur and Todd Ramsden (2011)

International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) Infrastructure Workshop, Workshop Proceedings (2010)

Analysis of Hybrid Hydrogen Systems: Final Report, Jered Dean, Robert Braun, David Muoz, Michael Penev, and Christopher Kinchin (2010)

Delivering Renewable Hydrogen: A Focus on Near-Term Applications, Workshop Proceedings (2009)

Lifecycle Cost Analysis of Hydrogen Versus Other Technologies for Electrical Energy Storage, Darlene Steward, Genevieve Saur, Michael Penev, and Todd Ramsden (2009)

Analyzing the Levelized Cost of Centralized and Distributed Hydrogen Production Using the H2A Production Model, Version 2, Todd Ramsden, Darlene Steward, and Jarett Zuboy (2009)

Refueling Infrastructure for Alternative Fuel Vehicles: Lessons Learned for Hydrogen, Workshop Proceedings, Marc Melaina, Shawna McQueen, and Jeannette Brinch (2008)

Analysis of the Transition to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and the Potential Hydrogen Energy Infrastructure Requirements, David Greene, Paul Leiby, Brian James, Julie Perez, Margo Melendez, Anelia Milbrandt, Stefan Unnasch, Matthew Hooks, Shawna McQueen, and Sigmund Gronich (2008)

Journal Articles, Conference Papers, and Book Chapters

Hydrogen Blending in Natural Gas Pipelines, Marc Melaina, Michael Penev, and Jarett Zuboy, Handbook of Clean Energy Systems (2015)

Hydrogen Energy Storage Systems for Grid and Community Applications, Marc Melaina, Darlene Steward, Joshua Eichman, and Jarett Zuboy, Handbook of Clean Energy Systems (2015)

Retail Infrastructure Costs Comparison for Hydrogen and Electricity for Light-Duty Vehicles, SAE 2014 World Congress and Exhibition, Marc Melaina, Yongling Sun, and Brian Bush (2014)

Overcoming the Range Limitation of Medium-Duty Battery Electric Vehicles through the Use of Hydrogen Fuel Cells, SAE 2013 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress, Eric Wood, Lijuan Wang, Jeffrey Gonder, and Michael Ulsh (2013)

Cost Comparison of Wind Energy Delivered as Electricity or Hydrogen for Vehicles, SAE 2013 World Congress and Exhibition, Marc Melaina and Genevieve Saur (2013)

Consumer Convenience and the Availability of Retail Stations as a Market Barrier for Alternative Fuel Vehicles, 31st USAEE/IAEE North American Conference, Marc Melaina, Joel Bremson, and Kirk Solo (2013)

Market Transformation Lessons for Hydrogen from the Early History of the Manufactured Gas Industry, Marc Melaina, Hydrogen Energy and Vehicle Systems (2012)

Design and Technoeconomic Performance Analysis of a 1 MW Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Polygeneration System for Combined Production of Heat, Hydrogen, and Power, William Becker, Robert Braun, Michael Penev, and Marc Melaina, Journal of Power Sources (2012)

Leveling Intermittent Renewable Energy Production through Biomass Gasification-Based Hybrid Systems, Jered Dean, Robert Braun, Michael Penev, Christopher Kinchin, and David Muoz, Journal of Energy Resources Technology (2011)

Role of Fuel Carbon Intensity in Achieving 2050 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals within the Light-Duty Vehicle Sector, Marc Melaina and Karen Webster, Environmental Science and Technology (2011)

Co-Evolution of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure and Vehicles: A Study of the Experience of Argentina with Compressed Natural Gas, Gustavo Collantes and Marc Melaina, Energy Policy (2011)


Hydrogen Energy Storage (HES) and Power-to-Gas Economic Analysis, California Hydrogen Business Council Summer Summit, Downey, California, Josh Eichman (2015)

Analytic Methods for Benchmarking Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, 227th ECS Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, Marc Melaina, Genevieve Saur, Todd Ramsden, and Joshua Eichman (2015)

Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST), Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, Marc Melaina (2015)

Hydrogen Energy Storage (HES) Activities at NREL, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, Josh Eichman (2015)

SERA Scenarios of Early Market Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Introductions: Modeling Framework, Regional Markets, and Station Clustering, 2015 International Colloquium on Environmentally Preferred Advanced Power Generation, Irvine, California, Marc Melaina (2015)

Hydrogen Infrastructure Expansion: Consumer Demand and Cost-Reduction Potential, Hydrogen Infrastructure Investment Forum, Palo Alto, California, Marc Melaina (2014)

Hydrogen Infrastructure Cost Estimates and Blending Hydrogen into Natural Gas Pipelines, DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, Washington, D.C., Marc Melaina, Michael Penev, Darlene Steward, Olga Antonia, Brian Bush, Brent Daniel, Donna Heimiller, and Jenny Melius (2012)

Infrastructure Analysis Tools: A Focus on Cash Flow Analysis, Hydrogen Infrastructure Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Marc Melaina and Mike Penev (2012)

Comparing Infrastructure Costs for Hydrogen and Electricity, Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, Marc Melaina and Michael Penev (2012)

Infrastructure Analysis of Early Market Transition of Fuel Cell Vehicles, Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, Brian Bush (2012)

Rethinking U.S. Hydrogen Infrastructure Transition Scenarios: What Comes Next?, Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, Washington, D.C., Marc Melaina and David Greene (2011)

Hydrogen for Energy Storage Analysis Overview, National Hydrogen Association Conference and Expo, Long Beach, California, Darlene Steward, Todd Ramsden, and Kevin Harrison (2010)

Reliable Muddle: Transportation Scenarios for the 80% Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal for 2050, California Air Resources Board Scenario Meeting, Sacramento, California, Marc Melaina and Karen Webster (2009)

Influence of Building Location on Combined Heat and Power/ Hydrogen (Tri-Generation) System Cost, Hydrogen Output and Efficiency, National Hydrogen Association Meeting, Columbia, South Carolina, Darlene Steward and Michael Penev (2009)

Related Studies and Research Centers

Visit the following websites for information about related studies and research centers.


Marc Melaina

Senior Engineer

Email | 303-275-3836