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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory hosted a workshop addressing the current state-of-the-art of reversible fuel cells that use hydrogen/air or hydrogen/oxygen on April 19, 2011, at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

Reversible fuel cells operate like batteries and may be one solution to the problem of storing electricity generated by variable resources. This workshop brought together subject matter experts and fuel cell developers of two technologies—reversible polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells and reversible solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)—to discuss the state-of-the-art and to identify needs for future R&D.

The workshop was divided into two sessions—a PEM reversible fuel cell session and a reversible SOFC/SOEC session. Each session began with formal presentations from industry representatives, who established the background and current state-of-the-art of the technologies. After the presentations, two breakout groups were formed in each session to discuss critical issues, materials and systems barriers, and manufacturing issues that need to be addressed and to recommend areas of research and development.