Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Hydrogen Storage Technology for Fuel Cell Microgrids

Request Number
Due Date
Mar 6
Program Manager

Joint/contract development, licensing


Prototype evaluation: within 1–2 years
Target specifications achieved: within 5–10 years


To be discussed based on proposals


How to  Apply
  • Click on "Respond", complete the form to the extent possible, and submit along with other attachment files available. 
  • After creating your account for NineSights, your draft will be automatically saved and you can resume later from "Control Center". Please note you do not submit confidential information at this process.
  • This request for proposals in PDF format is available here.


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RFP was closed on
Mar 2019

RFP Title


Hydrogen Storage Technology for Fuel Cell Microgrids
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a large global manufacturer, seeks a partner in joint development of innovative technologies for a low-cost system to supply hydrogen to fuel cell microgrids. We are particularly looking for approaches that do not produce carbon dioxide during hydrogen storage/supply.


The Client seeks ways of supplying hydrogen to fuel cell microgrids that are used in small-scale facilities such as small buildings and convenience stores. Possible methods of hydrogen supply include the use of hydrogen-absorbing alloys, using an organic hydride or ammonia as a carrier, decomposition of utility gas, and use of high-pressure hydrogen tanks. Each has its pros and cons in terms of safety, storage capacity, and cost. From a standpoint of building a “decarbonized society,” it is also desirable to use approaches that do not cause additional production of carbon dioxide.


Meanwhile, recent rise in attention to hydrogen energy has given a boost to research on hydrogen storage technologies. With an aim to accelerate development by collaborating with a partner that works on relevant technologies, the Client has decided to make this RFP to call for technologies and ideas that have the potential of developing a low-cost CO2-free hydrogen supply system.

Key Success Criteria

A hydrogen storage system to be developed in medium- to long-term

  • Use: Supply of hydrogen to fuel cell microgrids used in buildings, small plants, convenience stores, etc.
  • Hydrogen supply cost (including system installation cost): ≤0.5 USD/Nm3
  • Purity of hydrogen stored/supplied: ≥ 99.99%
  • Storage/supply capacity per unit time:
    ≥100 Nm3/h
  • Maximum storage capacity: 10,000–100,000 Nm3
  • Safety is ensured
  • Preferably does not produce carbon dioxide during hydrogen storage/supply



Performance to aim for in prototype

  • System installation cost: ≤500,000 USD (not including development cost)
  • Hydrogen stored/supplied: Purity ≥ 99.99%
  • Storage/supply capacity per unit time: approx. 1–5 Nm3/h
  • Maximum storage capacity: approx. 100 m3

It is not necessary for all the requirements to be met at this point; we are open to a wide range of process technologies, materials, and ideas that have a good theoretical prospect of achieving the goals in the next 5–10 years.


Proposer requirements

  • Preferably able to provide a prototype within 1–2 years
    • Prototype: A hydrogen storage system or component with a capability of hydrogen storage/release, or generation
  • Able to provide rationale for the prospect of achieving the goals
Possible Approaches

The Client expects technologies such as the following approaches, but is open to others:

  • Hydrogen-absorbing alloys
  • Organic hydrides
  • Ammonia
  • Hydrogen production by water splitting
Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Liquid hydrogen / high-pressure tanks
  • Provision of a material alone that does not have a function of hydrogen storage/release
Items to be Submitted

 Please include the following items in your proposal:

  • Characteristics, principle, and uniqueness of the technology
  • Development stage: performance verified at a lab level, technology currently being established, or implemented for practical use
  • Current performance
    • Cost of system installation
    • Cost of hydrogen supply
    • Maximum hydrogen storage capacity
    • Hydrogen storage/supply capacity per unit time
    • Durability (Number of times of repeated use, system life)
  • Current challenges and future development plans
  • Prototyping conditions (e.g. cost, period, contract terms)
  • Potential for scale-up
  • Past results (e.g. research papers, patents)
  • Organization overview


Notes on Response

Proposal shall have clear points and should not include confidential information. Supplemental files may be submitted in addition to the proposal.


Response evaluation

The client will evaluate all responses with the following criteria.

  • Overall scientific and technical merit
  • Approach to proof of concept or performance
  • Economic potential of concept
  • Realism of the proposed plan (action items, timeline, roles, deliverables, cost estimation)
  • Potential for proprietary position
  • Respondents’ capability and related experiences


Anticipated Project Process

After the submission due date, the client will review all submitted proposals. NineSigma will send the review results to each proposer 6-8 weeks after the due date. The client possibly asks clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select best candidates through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute NDA with selected respondents, seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities.

The client will execute necessary agreements with the selected respondents and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest