Before Obama's departure, Bucks firm wins $1M Energy Dept. prize

File photo: Nihad Kaiseruddin, application sales engineer with PDC Machines, demonstrates the Simple Fuel home vehicle hydrogen refueling appliance, a refueling station for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, at the PDC Machines plant in Warminster, Pa.

On the Obama administration's last day in office, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded a $1 million prize to a consortium of companies, including PDC Machines of Warminster, for developing a machine to conveniently fuel hydrogen vehicles.

The team of PDC Machines and two Massachusetts companies, Ivys Energy Solutions and McPhy North America, won the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize contest for developing its Simplefuel machine, a small-scale hydrogen-refueling appliance capable of delivering up to 5 kilograms of hydrogen a day to vehicles.

The government had been testing the Simplefuel machine at PDC’s Warminster office since September to see if it complied with the contest’s terms. The contest was created to incentivize the development of a safe means of dispensing hydrogen fuel, considered a key to developing a broader alternative-fuel network.

The Energy Department announced the award Thursday, the last full day the Obama Administration was in office.