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Developing Green Fleet Management StrategiesEPA Grant Number: FP917174
Title: Developing Green Fleet Management Strategies
Investigators: Stasko, Timon Herrick
Institution: Cornell University
EPA Project Officer: Zambrana, Jose
Project Period: August 25, 2010 through August 24, 2011
Project Amount: $111,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2010) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Science & Technology for Sustainability: Environmental Behavior & Decision Making
While new diesel vehicles have dramatically lower emissions than their predecessors, much of the existing fleet continues to emit numerous pollutants at high rates. Considerable efforts are being made to reduce emissions from older diesel vehicles through retrofits and early retirements. This research will examine how the way vehicles are assigned to tasks can influence the magnitude and distribution of emission reductions.
While new diesel vehicles have dramatically lower emissions than their predecessors, much of the existing fleet continues to emit pollutants at high rates. Considerable efforts are being made to reduce emissions from older diesel vehicles through retrofits and early retirements. This research will develop an optimization framework for coordinating retrofit and replacement decisions with the process of assigning vehicles to tasks, improving the efficiency of emission reduction projects.
This research will involve creating a multi-period optimization framework for making both vehicle assignment and retrofit/replacement decisions. Potential mathematical techniques include linear and nonlinear programming, as well as dynamic programming and heuristic methods such as tabu search and genetic algorithms. Given the complex nature of the problem, it is likely that multiple techniques will be combined in a hybrid approach, such as approximate dynamic programming with linear programming used to solve subproblems at each state.
The completed model will be able to reveal the degree to which coordinating retrofit/replacement decisions with vehicle task assignment can influence the outcomes of emission reduction projects. Emission reductions might be increased by using retrofitted and new vehicles more heavily, or by altering duty cycles to create more favorable exhaust temperature profiles (allowing installation of more effective emission reduction technologies). The optimization framework developed may be applicable to a broader class of retrofit/replacement problems, such as those facing companies deciding how to manage groups of buildings, given energy reduction goals.
Potential to Further Environmental/Human Health Protection
Fleet managers could use insights from the model to develop their own retrofit/replacement strategies. EPA staff could use the same insights when selecting which retrofit/replacement proposals receive grants. In so doing, greater reductions in emissions of pollutants such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons could be achieved.