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Case study of the real world integration of fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and their effect on hydrogen refueling locations in the Puget Sound region




Bucher, Jake Duvall, author
Bradley, Thomas, advisor
Anderson, Charles, committee member
Suryanarayanan, Siddarth, committee member

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The personal vehicle transportation fleet relies heavily on non-renewable and pollutive sources of fuel, such as petroleum. However, with harsher restrictions from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and California Air Resource Board's (CARB) Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards coupled with growing sales for alternative fueled vehicles, the automotive industry has begun to shift toward more renewable and clean sources of energy to power vehicles. The fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (FCPHEV) architecture provides a unique and promising solution to decreasing the dependence of vehicles on petroleum and decreasing the amount of pollution emitted from tailpipes. Until recently, the FCPHEV architecture had only been developed in concept cars and paper studies. However, recent studies have confirmed the capability of the FCPHEV concept in terms of its economics, environmental benefits, and real-world viability. From this concept it becomes important to understand how daily commuters will benefit from driving a FCPHEV using real world driving data. Through the use of geographic information system (GIS) data of vehicle travel in the Puget Sound area from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) a model of electrical and hydrogen energy consumption of a fleet of FCPHEVs can be constructed. This model can be modified to model the driving, charging and fueling habits of drivers using four different all-electric driving ranges, and using either a normal plug-in hybrid control strategy or a control strategy that focuses on highway fuel cell operation. These comparisons are used to analyze the driving habits of daily commuters while using a FCPHEV, and the effect of the FCPHEV architecture on the location of hydrogen refueling. The results of this thesis help to define FCPHEV energy management strategies and show that the FCPHEV architecture can concentrate the location of hydrogen refueling to predictable areas and aid in the development of the hydrogen refueling infrastructure.


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energy consumption
utility factor
geographical information systems
fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle


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