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Big Data, Models & Tools

This is the July 2014 issue of the Transportation and Hydrogen Newsletter.

Close-up of computer stacks. Man standing in front of wall-size graphic display.

NREL data and analysis tools include the Peregrine supercomputer (top) and the Energy Integration Visualization Room (bottom).
Photos by Dennis Schroeder (top) and Ahmad Pesaran (bottom), NREL

Supercomputer & Sophisticated Visualization
NREL's high-performance computing data center is home to the Peregrine supercomputer, which can perform more than a quadrillion calculations per second. The Energy Integration Visualization Room allows researchers to examine highly complex models and simulations on a large scale.

Test Your Alternative Fuel IQ
How much do you know about alternative fuels and advanced vehicles? Test your knowledge in this 10-question quiz, and find resources with information on each topic.

July 21, 2014

VICE 2.0 Helps Fleet Managers Evaluate Natural Gas Conversion

An updated Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation (VICE) model developed by NREL for Clean Cities allows fleet managers to assess the financial impact of converting fleets to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Enhancements include the ability to assess vehicle acquisition and infrastructure investments together or separately, and additional graphical output makes it possible to visualize cash flow, payback period, petroleum displacement, and greenhouse gas reduction scenarios.

New Tool Accelerates Design of Electric Vehicle Batteries

Two-and-a-half years ago, NREL teamed up with 11 industry partners to create software tools needed to design better, safer, and longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries for electric-drive vehicles through the Computer-Aided Engineering for Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries (CAEBAT) project. This month, ANSYS announced its release of a CAEBAT-developed battery model as a standard component of its Fluent software.

Analysis Reveals Impact of Road Grade on Vehicle Energy Use

An NREL study aimed at evaluating real-world fuel economy found that road grade could be responsible for 1%–3% of fuel use in light-duty vehicles. Combining nationwide elevation data from the U.S. Geological Survey with detailed GPS data from NREL's Transportation Secure Data Center, analysts used the Future Automotive Systems Technology Simulator (FASTSiM) to perform powertrain simulations with and without road grade for conventional, hybrid, and all-electric midsized cars, along with conventional and hybrid SUVs.

Federal Fleet Survey Reveals Motivations for Refueling Decisions

A 2-year NREL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) analysis identifies lack of awareness, training, feedback, and accountability as factors that contribute to low usage of alternative fuels by federal agencies' flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) drivers. This research, which cross-references refueling transactions in FleetDASH with nearby alternative fueling stations, is now contributing to the design of intervention programs aimed at increasing alternative fuel use and reducing petroleum consumption.

Analysis Supports Hydrogen Infrastructure Deployment

NREL is drawing upon a suite of modeling and analysis capabilities to evaluate hydrogen infrastructure rollout strategies and address the technical, market, and investment challenges associated with commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles. This work supports H2USA, a public-private partnership that brings together industry and government agencies to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions for deploying hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

Reporting Tool Updates Help Fleets Meet Regulatory Requirements

The U.S. Department of Energy has released updates to the annual reporting tool for state and alternative fuel provider fleets regulated by the Energy Policy Act (EPAct). Updates to the online tool help fleets comply with requirements of a recently enacted final rule under Section 133 of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which allocates credits to covered fleets under the Alternative Fuel Transportation Program. A webinar demonstration provides more detail about the reporting tool.

Fuel Cell Composite Data Products Reveal Technology Progress

NREL has published nearly 300 composite data products (CDPs) that show the status and progress of fuel cell technologies and help the development community identify areas for continued improvement. Analysts at the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center use the NREL Fleet Analysis Toolkit (NRELFAT) to process and analyze real-world data for transportation applications, including fuel cell vehicles, buses, forklifts, and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The team has also analyzed more than 2 million hours of fuel cell operation for forklifts used at customer facilities.

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