Hydrogen is not new, it's been in widespread industrial use for more than 50 years and codes, standards, and design practices have been developed to enable safe use.

All fuels contain energy and can be hazardous if handled improperly. Like other fuels, hydrogen must be used with care in systems designed around its unique properties. Hydrogen fueling stations and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) are designed in accordance with established safety standards to ensure their safety.

FCEVs are cleaner and more efficient than traditional combustion-based engines. Hydrogen FCEVs combine hydrogen stored in a cylinder with oxygen from the air to
produce electricity, with water vapor as the by-product.

Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) is a project launched by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The project leverages capabilities at the national laboratories to address the technology challenges related to hydrogen refueling stations. Led by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and supported by a broad array of public and private partners, the H2FIRST project is a strong example of DOE’s efforts to bring national lab capabilities and facilities to bear on both immediate and mid-term challenges faced by industry. H2FIRST was established by DOE’s FCTO directly in support of H2USA, a public-private partnership co-launched by DOE and industry in 2013.

Project Objective

The H2FIRST objective is to ensure that fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) customers have a positive fueling experience similar to conventional gasoline/diesel stations as vehicles are introduced (2015–2017) and transition to advanced fueling technology beyond 2017. The H2FIRST activities are expected to positively impact the cost, reliability, safety, and consumer experience of FCEV stations.

Activities

H2FIRST includes technical work in support of H2USA to fill the most critical gaps and needs for achieving a better-performing, less-expensive hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The project scope includes:

  • Development and physical testing of components and systems
  • Numerical simulation
  • Technology validation
  • Identification and development of low-cost, high-performance materials
  • Systems and station architecture design.

A process is in place to help identify new H2FIRST activities and ensure that the project is addressing the national needs associated with hydrogen station technology research and development.

Get Involved

Hydrogen fueling station stakeholders are welcome to consider participating in the H2FIRST project. Opportunities for involvement include participation in the H2USA stations working group, H2FIRST Coordination Panel, and H2FIRST Project Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), or responding to requests for quotation issued by the H2FIRST principal investigators (PIs). The Coordination Panel consists of individuals associated with the H2USA Hydrogen Fueling Stations Working Group (HFSWG) and the H2FIRST PIs from each laboratory. Participation in the Coordination Panel is open to industry representatives who are active in the HFSWG.

Alex Schroeder

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Rachel Wallace

Strategic Partnerships
Sandia National Laboratories
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