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Infrastructure

This is the April 2017 issue of the Transportation and Hydrogen Newsletter.

April 25, 2017

Photo of an electric car hooked up to home appliances

NREL research explores the interface between EVs, buildings, the electric grid, and renewable energy sources. NREL 38890.

Integration Moves Energy Savings and Connectivity to the Next Level

NREL has led a variety of projects to integrate EVs with the electric grid, renewable energy sources, buildings, and infrastructure. One project quantified potential savings from managed EV charging combined with a California grid with a high percentage of energy supplied by wind and solar. Simulation results, based on three million EVs implementing 50% optimized charging, indicate substantial annual benefits—$310 million in grid savings, 1%–3% reduction in electricity costs, and 1.5% reduction in peak demand. Other ongoing projects focus on vehicle-to-building integration and interoperability standards development.

Research Explores Wireless Charging System Requirements

Dynamic inductive wireless power transfer (WPT), which recharges electric vehicle (EV) batteries while a vehicle is in motion, can address two hurdles to widespread EV adoption—battery capacity and range. NREL will soon begin using a WPT system for its on-campus employee shuttle, which will also be used as a platform for further research. In preparation, NREL studied key considerations in system right-sizing, including battery capacity and the number and location of ground transmitter coils, based on real-world operations data from the existing shuttle.

Groundbreaking ASTM Standard Paves Way for New High-Performance Fuels & Engines

An NREL team led an effort through ASTM International in establishing a new test fuel standard crucial to set the stage for the commercial introduction of high-octane fuel and high-performance fuel-efficient engines. The standard will support production of 100-research octane number fuel, making innovations in spark-ignition engine efficiency—such as higher compression ratios, higher power densities, increased turbocharger boost pressures, downsizing, and downspeeding—more feasible.

Understanding Perceived Risks and Barriers to Investing in Alternative Fuel Infrastructure

Fueling infrastructure availability is a key barrier to the widespread adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, but limited vehicle adoption can increase the perceived risk of investing in fueling infrastructure. NREL conducted interviews with industry experts and stakeholders to identify the barriers to investments in fueling infrastructure in California for three alternative fuels for passenger vehicles: compressed natural gas, hydrogen, and electricity. Results and insights from the study can guide investment decisions, incentive programs, and deployment plans for alternative fueling infrastructure in the United States and elsewhere.

New Data Available on Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Progress

New composite data products (CDPs) from NREL's National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center show the status of hydrogen fueling station cost, performance, reliability, utilization, safety, hydrogen quality, and energy use. Results are provided for all stations—including data from pre-commercial or demonstration stations that have been fueling cars for several years—as well as from just those newer retail stations that sell hydrogen by the kilogram to fuel cell EV customers.

Collaborative Review Explores Ways to Minimize Mistakes at the Pump

Drivers can and do damage vehicles by filling up with the wrong fuels, and researchers want to minimize the risk of this mistake when new Co-Optima high-performance formulas hit the market. A comprehensive review by experts from nine national labs involved in this collaborative initiative spotlights the primary causes of vehicle misfueling, resulting issues, and potential strategies for mitigation.

Tool Provides In-Depth Financial Analysis of Hydrogen Stations

The Hydrogen Financial Analysis Scenario Tool (H2FAST) is used for evaluating business cases and risk of investments in hydrogen infrastructure. In a recent webinar, NREL described the new features and capabilities of this tool, which can be used by analysts to evaluate a wide variety of hydrogen infrastructure components and supply chains ranging from production and delivery to retail dispensing stations. The model also provides detailed incentives analysis for evaluating policy effectiveness.

Learn more about NREL's Transportation RD&D including Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, as well as partnership opportunities.