Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Development

The availability of stations providing reasonably priced hydrogen in places where vehicles will be deployed remains a key challenge to the adoption of this technology. To address the challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched H2USA—a public-private partnership with fuel cell electric vehicle original equipment manufacturers. H2USA is focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for U.S. consumers.

Although there are approximately 50 retail stations coming online by 2016, most of the hydrogen fueling stations built to-date have been constructed to support demonstration projects that will help address transition barriers, as well as provide valuable data as hydrogen vehicles begin to penetrate the market. As the market expands, fueling infrastructure will need to grow to match demand. These facilities may be standalone operations or offer hydrogen pumps in addition to gasoline or natural gas pumps.

Safety, Codes, and Standards

Many of the hydrogen safety, codes, and standards today are based on practices from the chemical and aerospace industries. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is coordinating the efforts of codes and standards organizations to develop better codes and standards that ensure the safe use of hydrogen for transportation and stationary applications. One of the outputs of this effort is NFPA 2, a harmonized national standard for hydrogen infrastructure.

Learn more about hydrogen safety, codes, and standards from the Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

Construction and Setbacks

Among many considerations for code officials, the layout of a hydrogen fueling station must meet specific requirements for construction setbacks. This figure provides an example of a hydrogen fueling station layout, along with some of the required codes and standards.

Layout showing setbacks required for hydrogen fueling stations.   Text Version

Demonstration Projects

In addition to the technical challenges being addressed through research and development, there are obstacles to successful implementation of hydrogen fueling infrastructure that can be addressed only by integrating the components into complete systems. DOE is developing and testing complete system solutions that validate integrated hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for transportation, infrastructure, and electric generation in a systems context under real-world operating conditions.

Learn more about systems analysis and technology validation from the Fuel Cell Technologies Office. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory also has information about hydrogen and fuel cell technology validation.

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