Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research at NREL’s Hydrogen Infrastructure Testing and Research Facility


Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy’s
National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Through DOE support and in collaboration with industry, NREL researchers are working on vehicle and hydrogen infrastructure projects that aim
to enable more rapid inclusion of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in the market to
meet consumer and national goals for emissions reduction, performance, and energy security. Hydrogen can be produced from abundant, clean,
domestic sources, including natural gas and renewables. And hydrogen fuel cell electric
vehicles are part of a transportation solution for zero-emission personal vehicles that are
capable of high-performance long range driving, with a short fill time. A vehicle can be filled
safely, simply, and conveniently in just 3-5 minutes. NREL’s Hydrogen Infrastructure Testing and
Research Facility, or HITRF, is a national asset for hydrogen infrastructure research,
development, and testing located at NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility or ESIF.
Research projects including H2FIRST, component testing, hydrogen grid integration, continuous
code improvement, fuel cell vehicle operation, and renewable hydrogen production via electrolysis
are underway here. In addition to conducting fuel cell electric
vehicle research and testing, the HITRF serves as a proving ground for component, system,
and control testing. The facility is representative of current commercially available hydrogen
fueling stations, enabling NREL to validate current industry standards and methods for
hydrogen fueling as well as perform testing for next-generation technology and controls. For example, H2FIRST is a collaborative research
effort designed to improve the cost, reliability, and safety of hydrogen fueling stations and
ensure that fuel cell electric vehicle customers have a positive fueling experience that is
similar to conventional gasoline and diesel stations. NREL’s research on hydrogen safety provides
guidance for safe operation, handling, and use of hydrogen and hydrogen systems through
safety sensors and codes and standards for vehicles, buildings, and equipment. This includes
providing data and expertise to organizations that are developing model codes and standards
and testing fuel cell and hydrogen components for operation and safety. Building on NREL’s Wind-to-Hydrogen demonstration
project, our work includes a focus on the role of hydrogen and fuel cells within energy
systems and solutions for integrating hydrogen with renewable electricity, the utility grid,
and sustainable transportation. NREL is integrating renewable energy sources/ including photovoltaics
and wind, with electrolyzers for use in transportation and building sectors through real-time and
stored energy. Our state-of-the-art facility is designed
for collaboration with a wide range of hydrogen, fuel cell, and transportation stakeholders.
Please visit the HITRF website to learn more and explore partnership opportunities.

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