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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report 5 Overall Assessment MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS AND TECHNICAL BARRIERS When the section corresponding to this one was written for the National Research Council (NRC) Phase 1 review, the achievements appropriately included several nontechnical components of the Partnership, among them the then-new elements of planning and organization that promised to help the program accomplish its major goals. These elements are all now in place and are providing the positive results that were expected. They are important overall program achievements but will not be revisited. Even though some of the achievements are outcomes of earlier work, emphasis is placed on accomplishments considered to be especially noteworthy and that were conducted since the Phase 1 review. The following is a brief summary of achievements and remaining barriers in several key areas. Advanced Combustion and Emission Control Since advanced internal combustion engine (ICE) hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles can provide significant petroleum savings and emission reductions during the transition to a more hydrogen-dominated transportation scenario, technology advancements leading to improvements in ICE efficiencies as well as reduced tailpipe emissions are very important to the Partnership. Accomplishments include the following: A continued deepening of the fundamental understanding of the governing thermochemical processes that control alternative advanced com-
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report bustion and aftertreatment operation. Research efforts are now being guided through fundamental analyses based on laboratory measurements supplemented with advanced simulation. The establishment of the working group Crosscut Lean Exhaust Emissions Reduction Simulation (CLEERS), whose membership of industry, academic, and government researchers collaborates to guide research activities. Demonstrated peak thermal efficiency of laboratory engines operating at speeds and loads corresponding to peak efficiency has increased about 2 percentage points to over 41 percent. This represents an increase of about 10 percentage points compared to current OEM engines. Experimental demonstration of Bin 5 emissions using a NOx adsorber and a urea selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. The technical barriers for the advanced combustion and emissions control technologies are those of implementation, development, and cost. Specifically, Implementation and control of advanced combustion approaches into the operating regime of the engine, which includes combustion mode switching and transients. Developing the aftertreatment systems that will effectively couple with exhaust gas characteristics of advanced combustion approaches and fuel changes. Reducing the cost of aftertreatment systems. Fuel Cells There is ample evidence of steady progress in most key fuel-cell-related technical areas, providing steady movement toward both performance and cost goals. There have been no breakthrough achievements, with the possible exception of a novel approach to the design and fabrication of the fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The design, reported by 3M, eliminates the corrosion-prone carbon support structure and utilizes nanoscale metallic whiskers and a vacuum-deposited, thin film of catalyst. This approach, while not yet proven, offers the potential for simultaneously increasing fuel cell durability and reducing costs. The cost reductions would come from both a reduction in platinum loading and a configuration much more compatible with mass manufacturing. The performance increase would come primarily from better utilization of the catalyst. Some other notable fuel cell achievements are these: The development of a reinforced membrane that improves durability with no apparent loss in performance; A better understanding of catalysts, especially platinum alloys, which
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report appear to have the potential for bringing as much as a tenfold improvement in activity; and The development of instrumentation and experimental procedures to allow real-time observation of water distribution in cells during transient operation. However, there remain a number of barriers to viable fuel cell stacks, including these: Proven stack durability is only about one fourth of the targeted 5,000 hours. Cost, based on relatively proven technologies for the fuel cell system, is projected to be about four times the 2015 target of $30/kW. Note that the projected cost falls to about $67/kW, or about two times the target based on the novel but as yet unproven technology mentioned above. There are remaining performance barriers such as start time, especially at low temperatures. Predictable water management in the stack is critical and still difficult to achieve under all conditions. Virtually all hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are still operating on very high purity hydrogen. It is not yet clear what levels of contaminants can be tolerated without significant degradation of fuel cell performance or hardware lifetime. The membranes in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) systems are still limited to about 85°C, resulting in thermal management issues as well as some operational limitations. The impact of intake air quality on the life and durability of the electrocatalysts and fuel cell performance under on-road operating conditions are issues. There are newly recognized issues of catalyst chemical dissolution and stability and subsequent reprecipitation within the membrane. Onboard Hydrogen Storage This is another area where program achievements are notable but have not yet resulted in major progress toward storage system targets. The most significant of these achievements is the establishment of three centers of excellence (COEs), as well as the initiation some independent efforts. This has greatly improved the potential for isolating materials (if they exist) that might be suitable for onboard hydrogen storage systems. The three hydrogen storage COEs are for (1) metal hydride, (2) hydrogen sorption, and (3) chemical hydrogen storage. The establishment of these three functional hydrogen storage COEs is an important achievement because each has
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report reported substantial progress in the understanding of candidate materials. The organized and systematic approach of the COEs, with many researchers involved in common areas of investigation, clearly offers the best chance for success if, indeed, suitable materials exist. Another notable achievement is the completion of extensive fast-fill tests for compressed gas storage to determine the circumstances under which precooling and/or communication between the hydrogen tank and the refueling system are needed. This is important since filling too fast can cause gas temperatures to exceed the safe limits for some tank materials (and components such as pressure relief devices), especially the resins that bind the carbon fibers and create structurally sound pressure vessels. While considerable progress has been made, there are still very imposing barriers for achieving onboard hydrogen storage systems that will meet all targets and thus enable mass production of fuel-cell vehicles: To date, all demonstration fuel cell vehicles and, apparently, all planned next-generation fuel cell vehicles use either 350 bar (5,000 psi) or 700 bar (10,000 psi) compressed gas storage (except for a few vehicles using liquid hydrogen storage). There is wide agreement that compressed gas storage provides little opportunity for meeting either performance or cost targets, and liquid storage introduces many new problems in connection with the cryogenic temperature of −252°C (−423°F), including safety and boil-off issues. While with innovative vehicle and interface designs, compressed gas storage can provide a reasonable range and fill time, it does so at the expense of excessive volume, weight, and cost. For example, Carbon fibers make up more than half of the weight and cost of compressed gas tanks, but little progress seems to have been made in reducing the cost of these fibers below $25-$35/kg. Compressed gas tank temperatures are limited to about 85°C by the materials used. This necessitates precooling of the hydrogen and/or communication between the vehicle and the fueling station to fast-fill a nearly depleted 700-bar storage tank. The investigation of solid or liquid storage materials as possible alternatives to compressed gas or liquid storage is also progressing, but with limited results to date. Specifically, While much progress is being made in understanding the potential of various materials for onboard hydrogen storage, no candidate materials have yet been identified that can meet system performance and cost targets. It has become clear from the studies that most of the materials that
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report appear to be capable of capturing and releasing sufficient quantities of hydrogen (hydrogen storage weight fraction) have either temperature or overall energy requirements incompatible with efficient operation of the storage system in conjunction with a PEM fuel cell. Electrochemical Energy Storage Many of the vehicle alternatives, especially plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), depend on affordable high-performance batteries. The most promising candidates seem to be lithium ion (Li ion) batteries: Li ion batteries can meet or exceed the weight, volume, power, and cycle life requirements for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The development of abuse-tolerant electrodes, such as Li titanate anode material, which is also capable of high charge/discharge rates, is an important step for the success of these batteries. While a great deal of progress has been made in Li ion battery technologies, there are still significant barriers: Li ion batteries still cost more than three times the $250/kW target. The durability of Li ion batteries has not been demonstrated, particularly the 15-year calendar life requirement. Current Li ion batteries are intolerant to abuse and could lead to safety issues. The development of abuse-tolerant electrodes such as the Li titanate anode mentioned above is promising in this regard but has not yet been demonstrated at full scale. Safety, Codes and Standards The development of national safety codes and standards is critical for the widespread operation of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. Every aspect of the operation of such vehicles, from onboard storage to refueling and even indoor parking, would be affected adversely by inadequate, inconsistent, or nonexistent codes and standards. Further, safety is of critical importance to maintaining support for the development of this technology. If hydrogen or hydrogen vehicles were ever demonstrated or perceived to be unsafe, this could be a severe blow to the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. Most of the achievements in the safety codes and standards are associated with the establishment of panels, databases, and handbooks that did not exist or had not been completed prior to 2005. Among the more notable are the following:
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report The establishment of the DOE Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee, whose activities are not, however, limited to safety, codes and standards. The publication of a hydrogen materials compatibility handbook (available online). Creation of a compendium of permitting tools. The formation of a hydrogen safety panel. The initiation of a hydrogen incidents database. The generation of hydrogen safety procedures for first responders. Experimentation and modeling of various hydrogen release and combustion scenarios. The publication online of a hydrogen bibliography. Some of the potential barriers to achieving appropriate codes and standards are these: There is very little in the way of a hydrogen vehicle operational database to provide guidance. The multitude of authorities with jurisdiction complicates the setting of standards. Even in the best circumstances, developing codes and standards is a very slow process. Vehicle Systems Analysis The Phase 1 committee consistently recommended greater use of models, computer codes, and analyses. These tools provide guidance in screening materials and processes, planning test programs, and performing cost projections, as well as many other functions. Some of the tools that have been completed or updated are the following: Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET). Tool for the analysis of vehicle configurations, capable of projecting source-to-wheels regulated emissions, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. Powertrain Systems Analysis Toolkit (PSAT). Used for evaluating vehicle technologies. Hydrogen Technology Analysis-Hydrogen Production (H2A Production). Model for projecting the production costs of hydrogen under various production scenarios. Hydrogen Technology Analysis-Hydrogen Delivery (H2A Delivery). Model for projecting the costs of delivering hydrogen using various delivery scenarios.
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report Hydrogen Transition (HyTrans). Model for analyzing the transition to hydrogen-powered transportation. It includes issues relating to customer choice, vehicle market penetration, and governmental policy options. National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). General equilibrium model for projecting the effect of government policies associated with hydrogen production and utilization on the national economy. Market Analysis (MARKAL). Tool to project the impact of hydrogen production, supply infrastructure, and use of different feedstocks. Hydrogen Logistics Model. Tool to develop a strategy for minimizing the cost of delivered hydrogen by finding the most economical resources. In addition to the tools described above, the Mobile Advanced Technology Testbed (MATT), a valuable tool for field evaluation of vehicles, has been completed and is in service. Independent Cost Projections In addition to cost projections associated with models such as H2A for the production and delivery of hydrogen, cost projections for the following have been completed or updated: Vehicle fuel cell systems. Projections were made by TIAX (an update) and Directed Technologies, Inc. (DTI) (new). Compressed hydrogen onboard storage system. Projections were made by TIAX. Distributed reforming of natural gas. Hydrogen Production Being able to produce and distribute hydrogen at a cost comparable to the costs of petroleum-based fuels is critical for the goals of the Partnership. Nearer term, production will probably rely on a combination of (1) distributed generation at forecourts employing electrolysis or the reforming of natural gas or bioderived fuels and (2) distribution from centralized sources. Longer term, centralized generation will grow because of lower costs and will most likely become the dominant source. So far, for long-term production only conversion of low-cost natural gas or coal has been reliably projected to cost less than $3.00/gge. DOE has shown that the United States could sustainably produce enough biomass to satisfy 30 percent or more of its current consumption of liquid transportation fuels if optimistic projections of biomass supply are met. Some achievements in hydrogen production include these:
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report Much better understanding of distributed generation of hydrogen and advanced sequestration through development of the FutureGen program. A better understanding of and ability to project of the amounts of biomass that could be made availabile for conversion to biofuels. Development of a redesigned electrolyzer with a projected reduction in cost, from $2,500/kW to $1,100/kW. Design of a high-pressure PEM electrolyzer capable of operating at 2,000 psi to eliminate a stage of compression. Concept for a low-cost alkaline electrolyzer with the potential to meet the 2012 capital cost target of $400/kW. Development of a delivery roadmap by the hydrogen delivery team. The completion of bench-scale testing of nuclear-based systems utilizing thermochemical or high-temperature electrolysis by the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) with lab-scale testing expected to begin in September 2007. Barriers to cost-competitive production include: Natural gas supply and price considerations are likely to restrict its use in the long term, as demand increases. The widespread use of coal depends on the availability of carbon sequestration, which has not yet been demonstrated. The projected capital cost of electrolyzers, while greatly reduced, is still about three times target values, and low-cost, nonpolluting electricity is not generally available for electrolyzers. Electrolyzers do not meet efficiency and durability targets. The sustainable availability and cost of biomass derived fuels are highly uncertain because of unresolved technical issues, unknowns surrounding land and water use policies, competition for these two resources, and the need for subsidies to stimulate commercial development. Technology Validation Experience teaches that the real-world operation of a system can result in unexpected consequences for its performance or durability. Thus it is very important to carefully monitor a technology to validate it. Two examples of such validation follow: DOE vehicle/infrastructure demonstration. Four teams representing 77 vehicles and 10 hydrogen stations are providing large quantities of real-world data on the operation and performance of the vehicles and the re-fueling operations. These data, which relate to the operation and performance of the vehicles as well as the refueling operations, are still
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report being collected, but data collected so far have been presented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Individual vehicles are not identified, but the composite ranges of data for critical variables are presented. The data are extremely important to researchers trying to move toward 2010 and 2015 targets. Department of Transportation (DOT) fuel cell bus demonstrations. Eight fuel cell buses are in operation and are providing data continuously. Summary There have been many important achievements in every area of the Partnership since the Phase 1 review, including some not mentioned here. Fuel cell technologies continue to advance, simultaneously reducing (projected) costs while improving performance. This provides the hope that such advances will continue until the targets are met. Advances are also evident in modeling, analysis, materials, and depth of understanding of the fundamental issues. Even so, there are many barriers remaining—including some that are not only very formidable but also potential roadblocks to the objectives of the program. In the past, most program concerns centered on the fuel cell—indeed it is still very problematic. However, other barriers, such as finding an appropriate onboard hydrogen storage system, may have become more pressing. The reason is that while fuel cell technologies are continually advancing, a breakthrough of some kind seems to be needed to solve the storage problem. It seems likely that the automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can innovate enough to store sufficient compressed hydrogen onboard for a 300mile (or more) range, but it is not clear that this can ever be a satisfactory solution for millions of mass-produced vehicles. The hope in this area rests, to a great extent, on the combined talents and knowledge of the researchers at the newly established COEs to find acceptable storage materials and systems. Other obvious areas of great concern are the production and dispensing of enough hydrogen to support large numbers of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. Modeling and studies are beginning to identify the most important issues and provide direction, but here many of the potential roadblocks are already known and many more are sure to become known as the effort progresses. Reasonably accurate modeling is becoming so important that in almost every area there seems to be a need for an expanded knowledge base to allow additional analysis capabilities. In summary, progress has been good in most areas and impressive in a few. However, resolving the barriers already known as well as those yet to be uncovered will clearly present major challenges.
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report ADEQUACY AND BALANCE OF THE PARTNERSHIP DOE’s total FY07 budget for hydrogen-related activities (the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative) is about $274 million, and total funding for activities relevant to the charter of the committee is about $401 million (Figure 5-1). The detailed allocation of these funds by main activity in the HFI is presented in Tables 5-1 and 5-2. Additional funding of about $98 million for FY07 was provided by industry and universities as part of the DOE-funded research, development, and demonstration activities. Other funding and resources from industry included about $16 million for Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) supporting Partnership goals. The private sector partners, of course, have significant proprietary programs with goals similar to those of the Partnership. The funding for these programs is not public knowledge, but in all it is reported to be at least twice the funding of the Partnership. The distribution of funding to performers—universities, private industry, national laboratories, and so on—is illustrated in Figures 5-2 and 5-3. This level of expenditure is consistent with the priorities and recommendations of the NRC report The Hydrogen Economy and the DOE report Hydrogen Posture Plan. It is also consistent with the President’s commitment of $1.7 billion over 5 years (FY04 to FY08) in his 2003 State of the Union message (NRC/NAE, 2004; DOE, 2004). The emphasis is on R&D related to fuel cell materials and FIGURE 5-1 Estimated budget for the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership for FY07 Continuing Resolution. SOURCE: Phyllis Yoshida, DOE EERE, May 31, 2007.
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report TABLE 5-1 DOE Funding for Hydrogen Activities Activity Funding (thousand $) Appropriated Continuing Resolution Actual Requested FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 Hydrogen production and delivery 13,303 8,391 34,594 40,000 Hydrogen storage R&D 22,418 26,040 34,620 43,900 Fuel cell stack component R&D 31,702 30,710 38,082 44,000 Technology validation 26,098 33,301 39,566 30,000 Transportation fuel cell systems 7,300 1,050 7,518 8,000 Distributed energy fuel cell systems 6,753 939 7,419 7,700 Fuel processor R&D 9,469 637 4,056 3,000 Safety codes and standards 5,801 4,595 13,848 16,000 Education 0 481 1,978 3,900 Systems analysis 3,157 4,787 9,892 11,500 Manufacturing R&D 0 0 1,978 5,000 Technical/program management support 535 0 0 0 Congressionally directed activities 40,236 42,520 0 0 Total 166,772 153,451 193,551 213,000 SOURCE: E. Wall and P. Davis, “Program overview, ” Presentation to the committee on April 25, 2007. components, hydrogen production and delivery technology, and hydrogen storage materials. The budget also includes $50 million for basic science, which also agrees with the recommendations in The Hydrogen Economy that call for increased emphasis on the fundamental science related to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The budget also addresses the concern expressed in the NRC Phase 1 report by the Committee on Review of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Research Program, Phase 1 (NRC, 2005). While hydrogen activity accounts, appropriately, for 70 percent of total program funding, there has been a significant increase in focus and additional assets allocated to nearer term opportunities such as HEVs, PHEVs, and advanced ICE combustion after a dip in such spending in FY06. The committee regards this change in balance as appropriate for three reasons: (1) It is in tune with the current
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report TABLE 5-2 Funding for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative Activity Funding (thousand $) Appropriated Continuing Resolution Actual Requested FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 DOE EERE hydrogen (HFCIT) 166,772 153,451 193,551 213,000 Fossil Energy (FE) 16,518 21,036 23,611 12,450 Nuclear Energy (NE) 8,682 24,057 18,665 22,600 Science (SC) 29,183 32,500 36,500 59,500 DOE subtotal 221,155 231,044 272,237 307,550 DOT 549 1,411 1,420 1,420 Total 221,704 232,455 273,747 308,975 SOURCE: E. Wall and P. Davis, DOE, “Program overview,” Presentation to the committee on April 25, 2007. FIGURE 5-2 Distribution of $268 million total funding by recipient type for the DOE hydrogen program in FY07. SOURCE: Phyllis Yoshida, DOE EERE, November 19, 2007. national dialogue on alternative energy; (2) it falls within the mission statement of the program; and (3) the resulting technologies will also be applicable to increasingly electrified vehicles and ultimately for fuel cell vehicles. (Much of the increased funding for these activities has come at the expense of the 21st Century Truck Partnership, which is beyond the scope of this committee).
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report FIGURE 5-3 Distribution of $126.7 million total funding by recipient type for the vehicle technologies portfolio of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership for FY07. SOURCE: Phyllis Yoshida, DOE EERE, November 19, 2007. While the committee endorses the overall size and relative allocation strategy in the hydrogen program budget, there are five areas of concern. First, as discussed in Chapter 2, congressionally directed activities (earmarks) continue to negatively impact the program. The committee’s Phase 1 report expressed concern at the number of earmarks in FY05, because they severely restricted the ability of DOE to effectively manage the program and delayed several of its important elements. Unfortunately, hydrogen program earmarks increased in FY06. Furthermore, for the first time, the Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) budget was also affected by earmarks, which accounted for over 25 percent of the FY06 FCVT budget. It is serendipitous for the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership that FY07 has operated under a Continuing Resolution, in which there are no earmarks, and the committee would be grateful if this continued to be the case in FY08. The second area of concern relates to the technology validation phase of the hydrogen program. The budget for this phase steadily increased through FY07 consistent with the deployment of increasing numbers of prototype fuel cell vehicles operating in diverse locations around the country. As described earlier in this chapter, this fleet of test vehicles is generating invaluable data on all aspects of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle operation, including the infrastructure. However, the
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report technology validation budget request for FY08 has been reduced by 24 percent, and this will lead to a reduction in the number of vehicles deployed in extreme climates. The committee regrets this reduction, for two reasons: (1) It obviously constrains shared learning and (2) it is one area where the respective government and industry teams did not achieve consensus. The program is clearly most effective when it operates with the consensus of all the parties. The importance of maintaining a strong validation program cannot be overemphasized, and the committee urges DOE to reverse the proposed reduction in funding in FY08. The third area of concern regarding the hydrogen program also carries over from the committee’s Phase 1 report. While not directly within the purview of this committee, it is generally accepted that the feasibility of large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) essentially determines whether hydrogen can be produced from coal and/or natural gas in a future carbon-constrained environment and consequently affects the economics of hydrogen and its viability as a future fuel (energy carrier). Although DOE has sponsored a large number of pilot projects to explore CCS, the committee is concerned that the plans to monitor CO2 leakage against the 99 percent retention goal are inadequate, especially as this is such a crucial aspect of CCS programs. The fourth are a of concern relates to safety, codes and standards: While the DOE activity in this area has increased significantly and is adequately funded, the DOT part of the program is well behind schedule and woefully underfunded. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Four-Year Plan anticipated a budget of $4 million to $5 million per year, whereas current funding is only $1.4 million. It is recommended that DOT develop a long-range hydrogen safety plan with budget estimates and milestones to 2015 (see Chapter 2). The fifth area of concern relates to the sustainable availability of biomass materials for conversion to hydrogen (and other fuels), as well as water and land requirements and the definition of subsidies that may be required. If the CCS program (noted above) is not completely successful, then biomass sources will become crucial, and this area deserves greater attention within the Partnership. As noted earlier, focus and funding (shown in Table 5-3) within the vehicle technology portion of the program have been adjusted to emphasize hybrid vehicles, including PHEVs, and the committee endorses this emphasis. One kind of vehicle activity that the committee is inclined to challenge once again is the materials activity. After a 6 percent increase in FY07, the budget request for FY08 proposes to increase spending on structural materials another 12 percent, to almost $24 million, which is 19 percent of the total FreedomCAR vehicle expenditure. The work done to date by the materials team is excellent, but the committee continues to believe that the 50 percent weight reduction target at zero cost penalty is unrealistic and that funds currently allocated to this activity might be better spent elsewhere, as was suggested in the Phase 1 report. In summary, there are five areas of concern for the Partnership, namely, congressionally directed activities (earmarks), the size of the technology validation
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report TABLE 5-3 DOE Funding for Vehicle Technologies Portion of the Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership Activity Funding (thousand $) FY06 Appropriations FY07 Actual FY08 Request Hybrid electric systems 0 0 70,743 Vehicle systems 4,165 7,223 0 Hybrid and electric propulsion 41,023 64,841 0 Advanced combustion engine R&D 20,724 21,549 22,695 Materials technology 20,131 21,276 23,880 Fuels technology 7,041 10,085 7,001 Technology integration 0 0 2,300 Technology introduction 1,287 1,300 0 Innovative concepts 495 500 0 Technical/program management support 1,188 0 0 Biennial peer reviews 495 0 0 Congressionally directed activities 0 0 0 FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Total 96,549 126,774 126,619 21st Century Truck Partnership activities 45,267 45,020 29,792 SOURCE: Phyllis Yoshida, DOE EERE, June 8, 2007. program, the design of the CCS pilot projects, the status of DOT safety, codes and standards activity, and the sustainable availability of biomass materials. The committee strongly supports the focus and allocation of funds within the vehicle portion of the program, with the exception of the spending on structural materials, which might be better used for some higher priority research areas. Finally, the Partnership involves both short-term goals related to hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles used during a transition period and much longer term goals aimed at a clean and sustainable transportation energy future. The committee considers the current split of the funding between long-term and shorter-term goals to be appropriate. Hydrogen-related activities consume approximately 70 percent of the funds. The remaining funds support the development of transition technologies, where cost is often the most significant barrier, together with certain key technologies such as low-temperature combustion and enhanced battery performance.
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report OVERALL RESPONSE TO PHASE 1 RECOMMENDATIONS This assessment focuses on the recommendations presented in the Executive Summary of the Phase 1 report (NRC, 2005). (See Appendix D in this report for a list of recommendations from the Phase 1 report.) The responses of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership to the specific recommendations that were contained in Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Phase 1 report (Major Crosscutting Issues, Vehicle Subsystems, and Hydrogen Production, Delivery, and Dispensing) are addressed in the corresponding chapters of this report. Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Storage The following references to recommendation numbers can be found in Appendix D. Recommendations 3-6 and 3-9 emphasized fundamental research on membrane R&D, new catalyst systems, electrode design, and hydrogen storage. In particular, the Phase 1 report noted the risk posed to the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle program by reliance on high pressure storage beyond the early transition period. Even with many automotive manufacturers currently introducing fuel cell vehicles that employ high-pressure tanks, the potential for low-pressure hydrogen storage to accelerate a hydrogen transition remains enormous. This was a major concern in the Phase 1 report, and it remains one in this report. The committee recognizes the actions that the Partnership has taken to address these fuel cell and hydrogen storage issues. It notes that they are ongoing priorities and that their successful resolution will require that this effort extend throughout the hydrogen transition. Electrochemical Energy Storage for Electric Vehicles Recommendation 3-11 proposed that high-energy batteries be given higher priority. The Partnership concurs, and funding for breakthrough research has increased markedly. The analyses of this committee continue to confirm the importance of battery technology, which is essential for success of battery electric vehicle (EVs), HEVs, PHEVs, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Consider, for example, the joint announcement on July 10, 2007, of Ford and Southern California Edison for a multiyear PHEV evaluation and demonstration program. Toyota has also announced a PHEV collaboration with the University of California. These programs will elicit much information about the performance of these vehicles in the hands of consumers and about their interaction with the stationary electric system; however, the commercial market must await lower-cost, high-energy batteries.
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report Electrical Systems and Electronics All-electric-drive vehicles must successfully integrate the systems that manage the flow of electric energy from its multiple possible sources (off-board connections to the electric grid, onboard generator, regenerative braking, and so forth) to its multiple uses (torque at the wheels, passenger comfort, battery charging, information, and so forth). Recommendations 3-16, 3-17, and 3-18 proposed that the electrical and electronic systems technical team coordinate the diverse research activities pertaining to electrical systems with the aim of achieving significant cost advantages. The Partnership has concurred and has begun that process in coordination with the DOE systems analysis activity. The committee continues to support this electronic systems integration as a vital strategic goal. Hydrogen Fuel Production and Distribution Under Recommendation 4-2, the committee called for special attention to be directed at the transition from a fuels infrastructure built to serve ICEs to one capable of serving a mixed fleet. In particular, the systems analysis work supporting the fuel/vehicle pathway integration technical team should examine whether raising the cost goals for hydrogen production during the transition period would accelerate or retard the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. These analyses have begun but have not yet been completed. The committee continues to urge attention to this vital component of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle roll out strategy. In Recommendation 4-3, the committee proposed greater attention to distributed hydrogen production, including by both natural gas reforming and electrolysis, as well as exploratory work on other distributed production options. As of this writing, DOE has focused on electrolysis and reforming. The committee continues to suggest exploratory research into hydrogen production at the forecourt that would use feedstocks other than water and natural gas and that might compete successfully in a mature hydrogen economy. In Recommendation 4-5, the committee suggested creating a CCS subteam. In response, the Partnership pointed out that the hydrogen production technical team has this responsibility and coordinates closely with DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, which manages the CCS program for DOE. Noting the importance of this liaison, the committee believes this arrangement can be made to work satisfactorily with ongoing management attention. However, it remains concerned that the CCS program will not deliver results rapidly enough to meet the key decision points in the hydrogen program. Structural Materials Recommendation 3-21 noted that more extensive research on carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers and direct cooperation with the principal fiber manufacturers will be essential for meeting the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership goals. R&D
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report on manufacturing vehicle structures should continue. The committee appreciates the Partnership’s emphasis on this research because of its importance as a hedge against delays in the commercial introduction of low-pressure, on-vehicle hydrogen storage. Recommendation 3-25 proposed a review of DOE expenditures on materials research to see if the resources could be used in higher priority research elsewhere—fuel cells, hydrogen storage materials or batteries, for example. DOE conducted such a review and concluded that support for lightweight materials should not be redirected elsewhere. In view of this program decision, the committee now recommends a review of the cost goals for lightweight materials with the intent of gaining a more realistic understanding of what can be achieved. The committee also continues to recommend that these funds should for the most part be redirected to higher priority research elsewhere (see Chapter 3) except for projects that show great promise for enabling, near term and at low cost, a reduction in mass. Crosscutting Issues Safety Recommendation 2-5 recommended that the Partnership form a new crosscutting technical team to address broad hydrogen-related safety issues. The committee further recommended increasing resources not only from the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership but also from the other participating federal agencies, chiefly NHTSA. DOE requested the needed funds, but its subsequent review of this recommendation concluded that a separate technical team could not function as envisioned by the committee and declined to establish a new technical team. While the committee must defer to DOE in matters of government organization, several observations should nevertheless remain before the management of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Safety is best addressed before costly recalls must be made and the Partnership’s reputation has been damaged. The Learning Demonstration Program can become an effective tool for identifying incipient safety issues. Where the statutory responsibility requires other branches of the federal government to become involved in hydrogen safety, DOE should exercise leadership to ensure that these efforts are adequately supported. DOT needs to prepare a long-range hydrogen safety plan and work to get it adequately funded.
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Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Second Report Public Concerns Recommendation 2-16 recommended that DOE collaborate with the Environmental Protection Agency to systematically identify and examine the consequences of widespread hydrogen production and use. DOE concurred and is using the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement process as the backbone for this assessment. The committee recognizes the scope and breadth of the DOE response. As with safety, environmental impacts are better recognized and addressed early in the program rather than discovered after large-scale investments have been made. Systems Analysis Recommendation 2-2 proposed that the Partnership should use its systems analysis capabilities routinely in all management activities—establishing goals, evaluating trade-offs, setting priorities, and making go/no-go decisions. Recommendation 2-1 emphasized a specific element of this, the use of ongoing well-to-wheels analyses to assess progress in the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership and to guide trade-offs among goals. DOE has concurred, and the committee recognizes the progress that has been made since the 2005 report. The committee continues to encourage the further integration of the systems approach into all aspects of program management, both as a guide to effective management and as a way to communicate with the diverse set of the Partnership stakeholders. Strategy for Accomplishing Goals The Phase 1 committee also recommended, following on Recommendation 2-2, that the Partnership should perform an overall program evaluation using go/no-go decisions and setting priorities focused on the most important goals. DOE has concurred. Looking ahead, the committee recognizes that the future of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership beyond 2008 remains to be determined. Nevertheless, the committee recommends that the Executive Steering Group begin a strategic planning activity that would establish the most important objectives and ensure the means to achieve them. REFERENCES Department of Energy (DOE). 2004. Hydrogen Posture Plan: An Integrated Research, Development and Demonstration Plan. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. Available on the Web at <http://www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/hydrogen_posture_plan.pdf>. National Research Council (NRC). 2005. Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, First Report. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. National Research Council/National Academy of Engineering (NRC/NAE). 2004. The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.