Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS), Alumni Theses and Dissertations
Li, Xuping (2012) Understanding the Design and Performance of Distributed Tri-Generation Systems for Home and Neighborhood Refueling. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-12-02
The potential benefits of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, such as zero tailpipe emissions from vehicles and the diversity of energy sources will not be achieved until hydrogen vehicles capture a substantial market share. Although hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology has been making rapid progress, the lack of a hydrogen infrastructure remains a major barrier for FCV adoption and commercialization. The high cost of building an extensive hydrogen station network and low utilization in the near term discourages private and public investment. Innovative, distributed, small-volume hydrogen refueling methods may be required to refuel FCVs in the near term. Among small-volume refueling methods, home and neighborhood tri-generation systems that produce electricity and heat for buildings, as well as hydrogen for vehicles stand out because the technology is available, initial capital investment is modest, and it has potential to alleviate consumer’s fuel availability concerns. In addition, it has features attractive to consumers such as convenience and security to refuel at home or in their neighborhood, and thus may prove also to be a desirable long term refueling option for consumers.
The objectives of this dissertation are twofold: to provide analytical tools for stakeholders such as policymakers, manufacturers and consumers to analyze tri-generation and similar energy systems in a systematic way; and to apply these tools to case studies to understand the design and technical, economic, and environmental performances of tri-generation systems for home and neighborhood refueling.