Forum connects fuel cell experts, installations

Published Dec. 1, 2012
Is a fuel cell the right choice for your installation? The forum can help you decide.

Is a fuel cell the right choice for your installation? The forum can help you decide.

Dec. 1, 2012

Public Affairs Office

The newly created Fuel Cell End Users Forum supports Directorates  of Public Works (DPW) and other decision makers in determining fuel cell applicability at Department of Defense (DOD) installations. The forum was established by a partnership involving the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC); the Department of Energy; the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; and industry representatives.

The partnership allows potential, prospective, current and former DoD fuel cell users to interact as a peer group in efforts to integrate fuel cell solutions into their environments. The forum’s government and industry experts conduct quarterly webinars on topics proposed by participants, serving as a user-focused venue for sharing information.

The forum is governed by the needs of the attending user community, and its agenda is developed based on user and stakeholder feedback. It provides unbiased information from experienced government users on:

  • backup power fuel cell units,
  • prime power fuel cell units,
  • installation codes and standards,
  • permitting requirements,
  • hydrogen and fuel cell safety,
  • cost savings opportunities,
  • energy security benefits,
  • determining host site power requirements,
  • fuel options,
  • case studies, and
  • coordinating projects among facility departments.

Previous webinars have focused on issues that affect the installation of fuel cells at DoD facilities and how DPWs can overcome them to create a successful fuel cell deployment. One case study spotlighted the installation and successful multi-year use of fuel cells at Fort Jackson, S.C., detailing the lessons learned and benefits realized by building occupants.

Members of the Fuel Cell End Users Forum can also access previous presentations, reports, fact sheets, lessons learned and  points of contact. This online repository can aid in searching for information and understanding fuel cells, and the site creates a  pipeline to industry to determine what the new trends are in fuel cell technology. Users will also be able to talk directly with  industry and have any questions or concerns answered about new or existing products and their possible applications.

You can access the website at or contact the POCs listed below. The Fuel Cell End Users Forum  is developing to become the premier location for fuel cell knowledge and experience support for DoD site personnel. Join the peer-to-peer supported group to spread the knowledge and experience of fuel cell use and to engage with both experts and  experienced users on a wide variety of topics. The forum arranges quarterly webinars with industry and government experts, and  participation is free.

POCs are Nicholas Josefik, 217-373-4436,; and Stephen Hammill, 217-352-6511 x7419, stephen.

Nicholas Josefik and Stephen Hammill are researchers, ERDC’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Champaign, Ill.

This article appeared Public Works Digest, Vol. XXIV, No. 5, October/November/December 2012, p. 39.