Total Cost of Ownership Model for Design and Manufacturing Optimization of Fuel Cells in Stationary and Emerging Market Applications

Existing and emerging fuel cell applications include primary and backup power, combined heat and power (CHP), and materials handling applications such as forklifts and pallet trucks. As the U.S. moves toward a more carbon constrained economy, a better understanding of the costs and benefits of "cleaner" technology options such as fuel cells are critically needed as industry and governments make research, development and deployment funding decisions and as organizations and individuals make long term investment decisions.

While many cost studies and cost projections as a function of manufacturing volume have been done for specific fuel cell stack technologies and for automotive fuel cell systems, fewer cost studies have been done for stationary fuel cell applications. In addition to the required detailed manufacturing and "design for manufacturing and assembly" (DFMA) assessment, this project will develop and apply a total cost of ownership (TCO) modeling framework to assess the economic viability of advanced fuel cell technologies for stationary and emerging power applications in the United States. A better understanding of potential fuel cell markets, performance, design and manufacturing options, societal benefits, and life-cycle costs can facilitate optimization of fuel cell designs, manufacturing methods, target applications, and policy incentives.