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Energy Department Announces New Tools for Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Deployment

April 21, 2015

The Energy Department has announced two new tools and the release of two reports developed through H2USA to support hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment. H2USA is a public-private partnership launched in 2013 to overcome the critical barriers to hydrogen infrastructure and enable the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles.

The tools, the Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST) and the Hydrogen Refueling Station Analysis Model (HRSAM), were developed by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Argonne National Laboratory respectively to address the key technical and financial barriers to hydrogen fueling infrastructure deployment. H2FAST provides in-depth financial analysis including cash flow and return on investment for hydrogen fueling stations based on key financial inputs such as station capital cost, operating cost, and financing mechanisms. It was developed to complement HRSAM, which assesses the impact of station design on the economics and incorporates a station's capital and operating cost based on key design variables such as station capacity and mode of hydrogen delivery.

NREL and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) have published two reports through the Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) project, which supports H2USA by addressing critical R&D barriers to station deployment. H2FIRST is led by SNL and NREL and is an example of DOE's efforts to promote strong lab-to-lab collaboration and to utilize national lab capabilities and facilities in addressing challenges faced by industry.

The H2FIRST Reference Station Design Task report details engineering designs and economic analyses of five hydrogen refueling station designs that can meet near-term market needs. The authors evaluated station economics using HRSAM and then prepared detailed designs that include piping and instrumentation diagrams and bills of materials. These reference designs are meant to help stakeholders evaluate station configurations and to encourage standardization of station components.

The H2FIRST Hydrogen Contaminant Detector Task report describes the current commercial state of the art in contamination detection and identifies the technical requirements for implementing a hydrogen contaminant detection device at a station. H2USA's Hydrogen Fueling Station Working Group and industry stakeholders peer reviewed the report and provided feedback.

As states with zero-emission vehicle programs prepare for commercial deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles, these tools and reports will support investors, regulatory bodies, and engineering design firms in developing cost-effective fueling infrastructure.

Learn more about NREL's hydrogen systems analysis activities, the H2FIRST project, and H2USA.

—Sara Havig