The U.S. Department of Energy today announced nearly $7 million over five years for independent cost analyses that will support research and development efforts for fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems. The four projects – in California, Ohio and Virginia – will generate rigorous cost estimates for manufacturing equipment, labor, energy, raw materials, and various components that will help identify ways to drive down production costs of transportation fuel cell systems, stationary fuel cell systems, and hydrogen storage systems. These projects will provide important data that will help the Department focus future research and development funding on the fuel cell components and manufacturing processes that can deliver the greatest gains in efficiency.
These projects will generate lifecycle cost analyses of existing and conceptual fuel cell systems for transportation and stationary applications. The projects will analyze a range of system sizes, manufacturing volumes, and applications, including transportation, backup power and material-handling equipment such as forklifts. Cost analyses are conducted by designing the system and conceptualizing its manufacturing process, selecting manufacturing equipment, determining labor and energy, and obtaining prices for materials and manufacturing equipment. The design of systems and manufacturing process is guided and vetted through system models at National Laboratories, patent and literature research, presentation from developers, and peer review.