On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the Hydrogen Education Foundation announced the competition finalist SimpleFuel as the winner of the $1 Million H2 Refuel H-Prize competition. The 2014-2016 H-Prize challenged America’s innovators to deploy on-site hydrogen generation systems, using electricity or natural gas, to fuel hydrogen vehicles, that can be used in homes, community centers, retail sites or similar locations.
The H-Prize was established by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act to be a series of competitions to encourage and reward innovations and advances in hydrogen energy technologies.
The competition launched in 2014 and received six submissions by the October 2015 deadline. A panel of judges and safety experts conducted a thorough review of the entries and concluded that SimpleFuel’s submission met the criteria to advance to the finalist stage.
During Phase 2, SimpleFuel constructed their prototype in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Testing and analysis started in September 2016 to determine if the system could meet the six different technical and cost criteria targets found in the Guidelines required to win the $1 million prize.
On November 9, 2016, SimpleFuel conducted an “Open House” that provided the public a chance to see the system in action. Among the 50 attendees was Sunita Satyapal, Director of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy, who demonstrated the capabilities of the system by refueling a fuel cell electric vehicle onsite.
Data collection was completed in December 2016. After the data was analyzed, and a team of judges evaluated the results and determined that SimpleFuel’s system met the competition criteria and minimum requirements necessary to win the $1 million prize.
The H-Prize is administered by the Hydrogen Education Foundation, and sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office.