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Stylized Text: 	Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Capabilities

Picture of an FSEC hydrogen lab glove box & fume hoods.

FSEC Hydrogen Lab glove box & fume hood
(Photo: S. Spencer)

Over the years, hydrogen has proven to be an area of growing importance to FSEC when the hydrogen economy was envisioned from the early beginnings in 1975.  Hydrogen is important to FSEC and to Florida for many reasons – it is a way for solar energy to be used as a transportation fuel, it provides a storage medium for solar energy, it offers a non-fossil based fuel for the future and it can be produced locally.

Hydrogen’s research began at FSEC in 1983 when NASA/Kennedy Space Center (KSC) funded the Center to assess a hydrogen production using a photovoltaic-powered electrolyzer.  In 1985, the U.S. Department of Energy funded FSEC and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute to jointly assess the state of hydrogen technology and determine research priorities.  For this program, FSEC took the lead in investigating power applications, and completed an assessment of four major aspects of hydrogen energy systems: production, storage, utilization and transition.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Laboratories



FSEC's Advanced Energy Research Division (AERD) facilities include three fully equipped chemical laboratories comprising 4750 ft2 and a 1300 ft2 field facility. Each of these laboratories is dedicated to a variety of hydrogen and fuel cell R & D programs and activities.

View more information about hydrogen and fuel cell laboratories.

Funded R & D  

Over the years, FSEC’s hydrogen research activities have been funded by DOE and by NASA and more recently DoD.  These comprehensive programs have encompassed research in all areas of hydrogen technology – production, storage, utilization, fuel cells and sensors.  Yearly external funding for hydrogen and fuel cell research has been from $3 to $5 million.

View more information about funded R&D.


AERD is the most active of FSEC’s divisions in the receiving of patents with over 30 issued and/or pending.  View more information about patents.

Systems Analyses Capabilities

FSEC's computational and modeling capabilities include: Gaussian '03, GaussView, CAChe, AspenPlusTM Chemical Process Simulation (CPS), FACTSage chemical equilibrium, and FLUENT computational fluid dynamics (CFD) platforms.

Fuel Cell Capabilities

FSEC’s fuel cell laboratory capabilities range from those required for membrane electrode assembly fabrication to the complete in situ electrochemical diagnostics.  These capabilities include four fuel cell test stands purchased from Scribner Associates, several potentiostats, frequency response analyzers and chemical analysis of catalysts and fuel cell process streams using ion chromatograph, GC, GC/Mass Spec, AA and ICP.

View more information about fuel cell laboratories.

Hydrogen Safety Plan

FSEC complies with the UCF Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), as required by OSHA.  This plan and its associated documentation (“Safety Standards for Hydrogen and Hydrogen Systems - SSHHS”) provide a written description of safety policies and procedures that all university laboratory personnel must follow.  All faculty researchers, student trainees and visiting scientists and engineers working at FSEC's hydrogen and fuel cell research laboratories are provided with training and a copy of the safety document which contains guidelines for hydrogen system design, material selection, operation, storage, handling and transportation.  FSEC's hydrogen laboratories and field facility meet and/or exceed the design and safety requirements imposed by the Florida State Fire Marshall and all the state and federal codes for handling large volumes of hazardous and flammable gases and chemicals including both gaseous and liquid hydrogen.