Hydrogen storage is a significant challenge for the use of hydrogen as a primary transportation energy carrier. Efficient, low-cost, and robust hydrogen-storage technologies must be developed to store sufficient hydrogen to “fuel” a vehicle for a conventional driving range of 300 miles.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s goals for onboard hydrogen storage systems do not describe or imply a specific technology; however, current hydrogen-storage technologies (liquid and compressed gas) fall short in terms of energy density and cost and do not provide a clear path for efficiency improvement and the resulting increase in energy density.
Solid-state hydrogen storage solutions are theoretically able to store more hydrogen per unit volume than liquid or solid storage systems. Given this potential for high-energy-density, reversible hydrogen storage, significant effort is being applied to develop advanced solid-state hydrogen storage materials and methods. Sandia is a leader in this field.
The DOE recently broadened the scope of its hydrogen program to include early-market uses of fuel cells including nonmotive equipment for portable power, aviation ground support equipment (GSE), fuel cell uses on airplanes, and determining the feasibility of placing large stationary fuel cells at national laboratory sites. All of these programs are funded out of the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program Market Transformation activity.