Focus – Leading the development of future transportation systems by providing key engineering data today – from H2 powered-trains, to vans, to buses.
- Modeling, developing, and demonstrating a Fuel Cell Delivery Van design for optimized performance. This project is now in Phase II, and a commercial vehicle integrator is manufacturing 15 additional vans based on the final powertrain design.
- Operating Texas’ first and only permanent H2 fueling station, which has been a valuable asset in continued H2 R&D. The station includes H2 generation in the form of a steam methane reformer (SMR) with onsite storage and 350 bar refueling capability. The station will soon be upgraded to 700 bar refueling with additional generation and storage capacity.
- Demonstrating H2 generation through SMR and electrolysis using renewable feedstocks, including renewable natural gas, wind, and solar.
- Establishing a small-scale H2 distribution system to use the H2 produced on-site in a fuel cell to power a data center and for vehicle refueling.
- Designing and testing a fuel cell bus power train that can, in an emergency situation, power a building. The DOD and DOE are now building the next generation of such a system.
- Developing a power management strategy for the optimal power split in a H2 fuel cell-battery-supercapacitor hybrid locomotive. When applied in real time, the continuous fuel cell power and battery power at any state are obtained through linear interpolation. The research has direct relevance for optimized H2 consumption over typical locomotive driving cycles, such as commuting trains.
- Designing modular H2 production systems, particularly autothermal reactors for SMR. Prior work includes microchannel reactor design and control.
- Controls for industrial, world-scale SMRs, using image analysis for reconstructing the reformer temperature field and for making control decisions for furnace balancing.
Michael Lewis, Thrusts 1-5
Maggie Chen, Thrust 6
Michael Baldea, Thrusts 7, 8