This September, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center (NFCTEC). The brand new national research laboratory will analyze data on fuel cell technology, including information on the technology’s durability, reliability, maintenance, costs, operation, utilization, range, efficiency, safety, and end user trends.
Fuel cells are often used to generate electricity in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Because of this, the data compiled by the newly-launched NFCTEC holds the potential to help drive alternative fuel vehicle technology forward, to provide brand new information on fuel cells to the public, and to partner with vehicle manufacturers in order to advance the industry.
In fact, the NFCTEC has already partnered with two major automobile manufacturers: Daimler and General Motors.
In addition, the NFCTEC has partnered with federal agencies, fuel cell developers, hydrogen suppliers, transit agencies, and organizations such as the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association and the California Fuel Cell Partnership, in order to gather, store, and process the most cutting-edge data on fuel cell technology.
The NFCTEC is based at the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) Energy Systems Integration Facility in Golden, CA.
How Is The Data Analyzed?
First, NREL partners submit operational, maintenance, safety, and cost data to the NFCTEC. Once that data is received by the Technology Validation Team at the NFCTEC, the team uses an internal network of servers, storage, computers, backup systems, and software to efficiently process raw data, complete quarterly analysis, and digest large amounts of time series data for data visualization.
This processed data is then returned to each NREL partner on an individual basis. However, individual system, fleet, and site analysis results from each partner are also aggregated into data available for the general public, and are called composite data products (CDPs). CDPs show the status and progress of fuel cell technology without identifying individual companies or revealing proprietary data.
For publicly-available data on the latest fuel cell data from NREL, please visit:
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle and Infrastructure Learning Demonstration
Early Fuel Cell Market Demonstrations
Fuel Cell Technology Status
Since its inception in 2004, NREL has collected and analyzed more than two million hours of operational data involving the use of more than 450,000 kilograms of hydrogen.