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NREL Joins Partners and Peers for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Information Sharing and Review

Aug. 7, 2018

NREL researchers recently participated in a vast amount of knowledge sharing about the growing hydrogen and fuel cell market and the early-stage research and development (R&D) that supports it.

The National Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Forum, hosted by the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association, featured a full day of speakers and a technology showcase on June 12. This was followed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR) June 13–15, which was organized by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and included multiple DOE offices and other agencies. Here researchers presented the status and results of their DOE-funded hydrogen and fuel cell projects to representatives from DOE, industry, and other laboratories for peer review. 

Diverse Perspectives at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Forum

The 2018 National Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Forum offered more than 350 representatives from government, industry, and non-profit organizations the opportunity to hear and share perspectives on this alternative fuels and transportation market. "The attendance at this year's Forum demonstrates a tremendous interest and momentum behind hydrogen and fuel cell technology," said Jennifer Kurtz, group research manager for hydrogen systems engineering at NREL. "The variety of speakers brought the audience up to speed on current and potential growth in this market."

Attendees from NREL appreciated the diverse representation of attendees from national and international locations. "It was great meeting with the leaders in industry making hydrogen a real option now and for our energy future," said Sam Sprik, team lead for data sciences and safety in hydrogen systems engineering at NREL. "The people I talked to had a positive outlook and were optimistic about the market potential."

Government organizations, including DOE and other federal and state agencies, also presented their activities related to hydrogen and fuel cells. Among others, representatives from the State of California shared their experience building out hydrogen infrastructure to enable the sale of commercial hydrogen fuel cell automobiles in the California market.

Knowledge sharing opportunities continued during the technology showcase where fuel cell and hydrogen companies and organizations exhibited their latest technologies. NREL participated in two booths, one of which was DOE's H2@Scale, a concept that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States. Sprik, who spent some time at the booth, said, "Visitors were curious to learn more about the H2@Scale program and the various pathways for realizing hydrogen energy goals." A second booth showcased DOE national lab capabilities, including NREL's hydrogen infrastructure R&D.

Annual Merit Review Showcases Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Projects, NREL Researchers Recognized

The day after the Forum, the AMR commenced, with more than 830 attendees and about 300 project presentations. This year's meeting included the first ever interagency session, including the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and other Department of Defense organizations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Postal Service, and National Park Service, among others "The AMR is an opportunity for NREL researchers to network with key stakeholders from industry and DOE. It was an important time to review and hear feedback on research projects, assess what's next for hydrogen research, and assess any gaps in the research," said Kurtz.

More than 35 NREL researchers completed either an oral or poster presentation and many served as expert peer reviewers. During the opening plenary, DOE honored several NREL researchers for their outstanding achievements. "We always appreciate acknowledgements for the hard work of NREL's researchers and their contributions to DOE hydrogen and fuel cell research goals," said Keith Wipke, manager for the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies Program at NREL. "And with the H2@Scale team being recognized, it shows how beneficial and strong national lab collaboration can be."

Presentations and posters from the AMR are available in the 2018 Annual Merit Review Proceedings. A report summarizing the peer reviewers’ comments will be published later this year.

Learn more about NREL's hydrogen and fuel cell research. And save the date for the 4th annual National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day on October 8.