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Connecticut Company to Advance Hydrogen Infrastructure and Fueling Station Technologies

July 18, 2012 - 3:36pm

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As part of the U.S. Energy Department's commitment to give American businesses more options to cut energy costs and reduce reliance on imported oil, the Department today announced a $1.4 million investment to Wallingford- based Proton Energy Systems to collect and analyze performance data for hydrogen fueling stations and advanced refueling components. The projects will also help to track the performance and technical progress of innovative refueling systems to find ways to lower costs and improve operation. These investments are part of the Department's broader strategy to advance U.S. leadership in hydrogen and fuel cell technological innovation and help the industry bring these technologies into the marketplace at lower cost.

"As part of an all-of-the-above strategy to deploy every available source of American energy, the Energy Department is committed to advancing fuel cell technologies and supporting innovative technologies that diversify our nation's transportation sector and reduce our dependence on imported oil," said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson. "The investments made in Connecticut today will support American manufacturing competitiveness in the next generation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, driving more efficient designs and new component development."

"The Department of Energy's investment in the innovative fuel-cell projects at this Connecticut-based company is a win for the environment and the economy," Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "The United States needs a long-term energy solution that includes a wide range of alternative energy sources to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. Fuel cell technology is part of that solution. I am glad Connecticut is at the forefront of researching and developing this alternative power source."

Proton Energy Systems will conduct two projects. The first, with a $1 million investment from the Energy Department, will deploy an advanced high-pressure electrolyzer at an existing hydrogen fueling station while nearly doubling the dispensing capacity of the station's storage tanks. Additionally, Proton Energy Systems will conduct another project to provide operational data from two existing stations that integrate hydrogen generation, compression, storage and dispensing. The stations generate fuel cell-grade hydrogen from water through on-site, solar-powered electrolysis. The Proton Energy Systems research team will collect data on station operation, maintenance, repair, and energy consumption.

The Connecticut projects announced today are part of a larger $2.4 million investment in five projects around the country. By analyzing fuel cell and hydrogen technology performance in real-world environments, these projects will help hydrogen fueling equipment manufacturers improve the designs of existing systems to achieve higher efficiencies and test new system components. Additionally, the Energy Department today released the final report from a technology validation project that collected data from more than 180 fuel cell electric vehicles. Over six years, these vehicles made more than 500,000 trips and traveled 3.6 million miles, completing more than 33,000 fill-ups at hydrogen fueling stations across the country. The project found that these vehicles achieved more than twice the efficiency of today's gasoline vehicles with refueling time averaging five minutes for four kilograms of hydrogen.

Find additional information on the Energy Department's investments in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

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