DOE Award Created by Lipinski Spurs Breakthrough in Clean Energy Technology (January 24, 2018)

Last week, Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) received an update on a clean energy technology breakthrough that was spurred by the H-Prize, which the Congressman created at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  The bill Lipinski authored, the H-Prize Act, created a prize competition at the DOE for significant advances in the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel for transportation.  Thanks in part to this effort, hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars – whose only emissions are water – are much closer to economic viability. 

The winner of the H2 Refuel H-Prize competition, SimpleFuel (, developed a small-scale refueling station for fuel cell vehicles.  Unlike large-scale hydrogen refueling stations, which fill up a hydrogen car’s tank as quickly as gasoline vehicles today (5 minutes for 300-400 miles of range), SimpleFuel’s system is designed to be installed easily at a home or business and fills the tank more slowly (10-15 minutes for 100 miles of range), but at a much lower cost.  The device generates its own hydrogen using electricity and water and never needs to be refilled.  SimpleFuel is a partnership between Massachusetts-based Ivys Energy Solutions and McPhy Energy North America, and Pennsylvania-based PDC Machines.

“I introduced the H-Prize Act and fought to get it enacted into law because I believe we need to inspire America’s innovators to lead the development of clean alternative energy,” Rep. Lipinski said.  “It is great to hear from the winning team how much the H-Prize stimulated their work and the work of other innovators who will help us transition to a clean energy economy led by American entrepreneurs.”

“For all of us on the SimpleFuel team, the experience of participating in the H2 Refuel H-Prize competition was energizing and rewarding,” said Chris O’Brien of Ivys Energy Solutions (MA).  “Challenging American innovators to make zero-emission hydrogen vehicle fueling accessible with easy installation, optimized performance, and low cost, while using the great resources of the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Hydrogen Safety Panel to prove to the industry that this technology is robust, safe, and ready for market, has opened up new possibilities to bring hydrogen cars to customers nationwide.  We look forward to delivering on the promise of this technology as we release SimpleFuel as a commercial product this year.”

“The SimpleFuel team expresses its deep gratitude to Congressman Lipinski for his vision and leadership in sponsoring the legislation that enabled the H-Prize competition,” said Kareem Afzal of PDC Machines (PA).  “The team also expresses its thanks to the entire team from the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office for shaping a contest that truly challenged the hydrogen industry to think differently about products that can transform this emerging market.  This work inspired our collective team to create a first of its kind hydrogen refueling appliance that will enable rapid and broad adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles nationwide and around the world using technology designed and manufactured in the US.  SimpleFuel has already led to the creation of new manufacturing jobs.  As we move into commercialization, SimpleFuel is launching a 26,000 square foot production line in Pennsylvania and is expected to create more new manufacturing jobs over the next three years.”

Congressman Lipinski is a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.  He serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, and also sits on the Subcommittee on Energy as well as the Space Subcommittee.

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