Intelligent Hydrogen Filling System

Navy SBIR 24.2 - Topic N242-071
MCSC - Marine Corps Systems Command
Pre-release 4/17/24   Opened to accept proposals 5/15/24   Closes 6/12/24 12:00pm ET    [ View Q&A ]

N242-071 TITLE: Intelligent Hydrogen Filling System

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Materials; Renewable Energy Generation and Storage

OBJECTIVE: Develop an intelligent hydrogen filling system that safely and quickly fills hydrogen storage tanks in an austere environment. All components of the system shall be stored, transported, and operated in man-portable containers. The system shall be required to leverage Onboard Vehicle Power (OVP), currently fielded tactical generators, alternative power sources (e.g., solar), or energy storage devices (batteries or fuel cells).

DESCRIPTION: As part of its future force modernization efforts, the Marine Corps seeks to deploy small, disaggregated intelligent hydrogen filling units to foreign locations where access to energy sources will be limited or unavailable. These units are to specifically support the U.S. Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO), a form of expeditionary warfare that involves the employment of mobile, low-signature, naval expeditionary forces that operate from a series of austere, temporary locations. Intelligent hydrogen filling systems will provide a capability to distribute hydrogen to Expeditionary Advanced Bases from tactical hydrogen generation and storage system locations.


Systems must meet Threshold requirements = (T).

It is highly desirable that the system meet Objective requirements = (O).

• The system shall be capable of metering and tracking the hydrogen transferred bi-directionally, either into or from, the hydrogen storage/compressor or generation system (T=O).

• The system shall be capable of metering and tracking the hydrogen transferred into the portable hydrogen tanks (T=O).

• The system shall be capable of filling Type 4 (T), Type 3 or conformal tanks (O).

• The system shall be capable of leak testing the portable storage tank and provide a "go/no go" indication to the user (T=O).

• The system shall provide a display to provide users with system performance and status information. This will include, at a minimum:

o Flow rate

o Pressure

o Portable storage tank fill percentage

o Time to fill

o Leak check status

• The system shall utilize a HGV2 standard fitting.

• The system shall fill any 500 gram hydrogen storage tank, without pre-cooling, at a fill rate of 50 g/min (T) or 100 g/min (O).

• The system shall provide overflow protection to restrict hydrogen flow to protect equipment being filled (T=O).

• The system shall be able to fill tanks at an operational pressure up to 10k PSI (T=O).

• The system shall be powered by 28 VDC or 120VAC, single-phase (T=O).

• The system shall fit and be secured in a 12 cubic foot container (T) or 3 cubic foot container (O).

• The system shall not exceed the requirements of a 2-person lift/carry (T) or 1-person lift/carry (O).

• The system shall be operable by personnel with limited training (plug and play (T) or no training (plug and play) (O).

• Minimum applicable MIL-STD 810 standards (T=O).

o Hi/Low Temp

o Environmental

o Shock and Vibration

o Transportability

• Minimum applicable MIL-STD-1472 standards (T=O).

o Weight

o Lifting

o Displays

o Alarms

PHASE I: Develop concepts for Intelligent Hydrogen Filling that meets the requirements described above. Demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Marine Corps requirements. Establish that the concepts can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling, as appropriate. Provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical risk reduction.

PHASE II: Develop 3-5 prototype Intelligent Hydrogen Filling Systems for evaluation to determine their capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Description above. Demonstrate technology performance through prototype evaluation and modeling over the required range of parameters. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements; and for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment approved by the Government. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Marine Corps use. The transition plan shall address commercialization and manufacturing. The technology should reach TRL 6/7 at the conclusion of this phase.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Support the Marine Corps in transitioning the technology for Marine Corps use. Support the Marine Corps for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Marine Corps use. The prototypes shall be TRL 8 at the conclusion of testing.

Commercial applications may include, but not be limited to: fuel cells, automotive applications, alternative energy, home power systems, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, homeland security, and emergency services.


  1. "An Introduction to SAE Hydrogen Fueling Standardization." Department of Energy. 11 September 2014. An Introduction to SAE Hydrogen Fueling Standardization (
  2. Department of Defense. MIL-STD-810H, Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests. 31 January 2019.
  3. Dept of Defense. MIL-STD-1472H, Human Engineering. 15 September 2020.

KEYWORDS: Hydrogen; storage; filling; fueling; energy; tank


The Navy Topic above is an "unofficial" copy from the Navy Topics in the DoD 24.2 SBIR BAA. Please see the official DoD Topic website at for any updates.

The DoD issued its Navy 24.2 SBIR Topics pre-release on April 17, 2024 which opens to receive proposals on May 15, 2024, and closes June 12, 2024 (12:00pm ET).

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Topic Q & A

5/7/24  Q. The description references an “HGV 2 standard fitting”. It is assumed that the term “fitting” means the hydrogen gas interface to the portable tank. Please confirm or clarify since ANSI HGV 2 is a specification for compressed hydrogen containers, and HGV 2 approved containers can have various fittings (as interpreted).
   A. The intent is to not identify a specific fitting for the application. The intent is to ensure that any selected fitting meets commercial standards.
05/7/24  Q. Is there any additional information on the “tactical hydrogen generation and storage system” or “storage/compressor or generation system” mentioned in the description with respect to volume, pressure, temperature at that interface?
   A. Volume agnostic; 10kpsi; ambient temperature range. Standard HGV2 fittings.
05/7/24  Q. The description says “without pre-cooling”. Can you clarify the intent of this as some sort of cooling will likely be required to fill to 10ksi without reaching the portable tank's temperature limits at the desired fill rate.
   A. The intent is to demonstrate a system that is not overly cumbersome nor require a large amount of power to operate. The system should fill a 500g tank from a larger tank/compression/generation system outputting hydrogen at 10kpsi. The system should not require active cooling, but if cooling is required to your design it should be limited to passive cooling while conforming to space limitations.

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