Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

U.S. DOE Hydrogen Prize Winner Exports Innovative Small-Scale Hydrogen Refueling Appliance to Japan

March 28, 2018

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) recently announced a collaboration on hydrogen and fuel cell safety research and development (R&D) data sharing to accelerate progress in hydrogen technologies with mutual goals of energy security, resilience, and economic growth. In the spirit of this collaboration, DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Office is proud to announce that SimpleFuel, winner of the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize, is exporting one of the world's first hydrogen refueling appliances to Japan.

With this first U.S. export of cutting-edge technology innovation to our long-time hydrogen collaborator, Japan, the H-Prize showcases how federal prizes can be used to incentivize American entrepreneurs to accelerate technology advancement. The H2 Refuel H-Prize competition successfully challenged America's innovators to deploy an on-site hydrogen generation system to fuel hydrogen vehicles, which can be used in homes, community centers, small businesses, or similar locations. SimpleFuel's home scale refueling appliance can provide a 1-kilogram fill to vehicles in 15 minutes or less at 700 bar using hydrogen produced via electrolysis, with a cost-effective design that minimizes setback distances and reduces the physical footprint of the system. SimpleFuel is a collaboration of three companies: IVYS Energy Solutions (Massachusetts), McPhy Energy N.A. (Massachusetts), and PDC Machines (Pennsylvania). This approach complements the conventional retail fueling stations currently being funded by states and the private sector.

With support from the Japanese Environmental Ministry of the Central Government, the SimpleFuel appliance will run on solar or grid electricity for use with a Toyota Industries fuel-cell forklift truck at the Kesen Precut Cooperative. Kesen Precut manufactures high quality wood and wood chip products for the Japanese market with two production facilities in Sumida Town and Rikuzentakata, Japan.