Photo of the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle courtesy of Honda.

Photo of the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle courtesy of Honda.

The U.S. Department of Energy is offering a $1 million prize for the engineer or entrepreneur who develops an affordable and small-scale hydrogen fueling station.

DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Office partnered with the Hydrogen Education Foundation to put on the competition.

The two-year competition requires participants to install and test systems that generate hydrogen from resources available at most homes such as electricity or natural gas, and provide the hydrogen to fuel vehicles.

The ultimate goal of the compeition is to eveentually allow drivers to refuel hydrogen fuel cell cars at home. However, the competition also seeks to reduce one of the biggest obstacles with hyrdogen fuel cell technology, which is the lack of existing infrastructure.

During the first year of the competition, teams are responsible for finding business and academic partners; desiging a system; and locating a site to install the system. After the entries have been narrowed down by a panel of judges, the remaining teams will have seven months to build, install and prepare their system for testing. The H2 Refuel H-Prize will be awarded to the team that meets both the technical and cost criteria outlined.