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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

NCER Grantee Research Project Results

"H2 v. BE": A Case Study of the Reliability, Cost, and Environmental Sustainability of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrids vs. Battery Electrics for Near Urban Personal Transportation

EPA Grant Number: SU834698
Title: "H2 v. BE": A Case Study of the Reliability, Cost, and Environmental Sustainability of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrids vs. Battery Electrics for Near Urban Personal Transportation
Investigators: Frymier, Paul , Cherry, Christopher , Counce, Robert , Irick, David , Tolbert, Leon
Institution: University of Tennessee - Knoxville
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010)
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy

Description:

Objective:

This project will test three hypotheses: (1) there exists a vehicle that can replace a car for near-urban commuting and short range transportation with significantly less environmental impact than a typical automobile, (2) this vehicle has the appropriate capacity, convenience, and comfort such that will be widely adopted by short range commuters, and (3) between a fuel cell hybrid and fully battery electric vehicle, one of the two designs will prove to be more effective at satisfying our criteria for low environmental impact and appropriate capacity, convenience, and comfort.

Approach:

Potentially renewable sources of energy are used by both vehicle platforms in order to reduce the environmental impact and to promote the diversity energy used by the transportation system. Diversity in transportation systems will generate economic opportunities by creating cost- and pollution reduction incentives for a new transportation platform and infrastructure. In addition, gaseous emissions such as carbon dioxide will be reduced.

Expected Results:

After design and construction, the two vehicles will be compared to see which of the two has the most favorable potential for long term viability for near-urban (<15 mile one way) commuting.  The hydrogen fuel cell hybrid and battery power systems will also be compared to evaluate their cost, convenience, and environmental impact when used for near urban commuting.  The results will be both quantitative (lbs. CO2 saved, cost of construction and maintenance) and qualitative (which is more convenient, more powerful, more available space).  The vehicles will be used for alternative fuel demonstrations at local schools and other venues promoting sustainability (such as local Earth Day events).  The students will present the results of their study at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, DC, April, 2011.

Supplemental Keywords:

waste reduction, green engineering, sustainability, hydrogen, design optimization, environmental education;

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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