Fuel Cells

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Photo of a fuel cell stackFuel cells are an important enabling technology for the hydrogen economy and have the potential to revolutionize the way we power our nation, offering cleaner, more-efficient alternatives to the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels.

DOE is working closely with its national laboratories, universities, and industry partners to overcome critical technical barriers to fuel cell commercialization. Current R&D is focused on the development of reliable, low-cost, high-performance fuel cell system components for transportation and buildings applications.

Fuel Cells In Use

Fuels cells are a very flexible technology, with a broad range of potential applications from small handheld electronic devices to passenger cars to large electric power plants. Significant challenges to fuel cell commercialization remain, so most fuel cell power systems in use today are part of demonstration programs to evaluate their performance under real-world operating conditions.

Fuel cell applications can be classified into three primary categories:

bulletTransportation applications such as passenger cars and buses
bulletStationary applications for powering homes or commercial buildings
bulletPortable applications such as cell phones