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SRNL to Lead Center for Advancing Hydrogen Vehicles
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Don Anton of SRNL is Director of the new Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of ExcellenceAIKEN, S.C. (Oct. 9, 2008) – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected a team led by DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) as its new Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence. The Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence is a virtual center made up of 10 partners at various locations around the country, and is anticipated to run for approximately five years. The Center supports the President's Advanced Energy Initiative to reduce our Nation's dependence on foreign energy sources by changing the way we power our cars, homes, and businesses.

DOE's Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program, within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, sought applications earlier this year to fund one multi-disciplinary Center of Excellence team. The Center will address the significant engineering challenges associated with developing low-pressure, materials-based hydrogen storage systems that will enable fuel cell vehicles to meet customer expectations for driving range, performance and cost. These projects will be incorporated into the DOE's National Hydrogen Storage Project, which currently focuses on hydrogen storage materials development.

Dr. Sam Bhattacharyya, director of SRNL, said that the Laboratory's selection to lead the Center of Excellence is testament to SRNL's long-standing expertise in hydrogen storage engineering projects.

"Over a decade ago, we led a team that put a hydrogen-powered bus on the streets," said Dr. Bhattacharyya. "And for decades before that, we have built up core competencies in this area by developing practical tritium storage systems that support the nation's defense. The knowledge and pragmatic creativity of SRNL's hydrogen research staff, combined with the unique skills of our partners in this Center, will help bring about the day when we have hydrogen fueled cars that can travel as far and perform as well as today's vehicles, and reduce or eliminate the need for imported gasoline."

The Center will research and develop onboard vehicular hydrogen storage systems and components that will allow for a driving range of greater than 300 miles while meeting, safety, cost and performance requirements. This effort will include development of engineering, design, and system models that address on-board subsystems. The Center will also design, construct, test and evaluate sub-scale prototypes based on various hydrogen storage materials, subject to progress and go/no-go decisions.

DOE expects to provide up to $6 million in fiscal year 2009 for these projects, subject to negotiation of cost-shared awards and availability of funds.

SRNL is the lead organization of a world-class team, consisting of nine other partners from universities, industry and federal laboratories. The partners bring to the Center extensive experience in metal, chemical, and sorbent hydrogen storage materials, and supporting systems engineering expertise. These other team members include:

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Washington)
  • United Technologies Research Center (East Hartford, Connecticut)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, New Mexico)
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, California)
  • DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado)
  • General Motors Corporation (Warren, Michigan)
  • Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, Michigan)
  • Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon)
  • Lincoln Composites Inc. (Lincoln, Nebraska)

The Director of the Center will be SRNL's Dr. Don L. Anton, who led development of a prototype sodium aluminum hydride-based hydrogen storage system. Dr. Ted Motyka, also of SRNL, who has designed and developed metal hydride hydrogen storage systems for over 25 years, will be the assistant director.

SRNL is DOE's applied research and development laboratory at the Savannah River Site (SRS). SRNL puts science to work to support DOE and the nation in the areas of national and homeland security, energy security and environmental management. The management and operating contractor for SRS and SRNL is Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.

More information about DOE's Hydrogen Program and the National Hydrogen Storage Project is available at www.eere.gov.

Media contact: Will Callicott (803-725-3786 or will.callicott@srnl.doe.gov) or Angeline French (803-725-2854 or angeline.french@srnl.doe.gov) at SRNL.

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Last updated: November 1, 2011

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