Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (Ice) Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure Alternative Fuels & Life-Cycle Engineering Program
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Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (Ice) Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure Alternative Fuels & Life-Cycle Engineering Program

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    • Alternative Title:
      Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicles and Fueling Infrastructure: Alternative Fuels & Life-Cycle Engineering Program: November 29, 2006 to November 28, 2011
    • Resource Type:
    • Geographical Coverage:
    • Edition:
      Final Report
    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT-Alternative Fuels
    • Abstract:
      This report presents the results of the successful RIT-CIMS Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) demonstration program conducted from September 2007 to September 2010. The program was jointly funded by U.S. DOT and NYSERDA. It includes details of the infrastructure construction and coverage of activities of the hydrogen ICE vehicle operation. During this period, CIMS constructed a hydrogen fueling station and operated a fleet of three gaseous-hydrogenpowered ICE vehicles. The vehicles operated on the RIT campus and in the surrounding Rochester metropolitan area from July 2008 to September 2010. The construction of a hydrogen station on the RIT campus took approximately one year and involved a significant amount of safety and code reviews. The basic station design was changed to accommodate upgraded capability and additional cosmetic enhancements. Hydrogen dispensing capability was provided by a tube skid storage system, piped through a Quantum B70 fueling unit. This unit can service both ICE and fuel cell vehicles. The station was formally opened for operations in January 2009. During the station operational period, a number of durability and mechanical problems were encountered. Causes for these were divided almost equally between design shortfalls and cold weather operation. Most of the deficiencies have been corrected, but there is significant room for improvement in the fueler design. The ICE vehicles were operated by a wide range of users. In particular, two of the vehicles were dedicated full time to RIT Public Safety patrol. The third vehicle was a rotational staff car and demonstration platform used at CIMS. Although the vehicles performed adequately on the road, there were a number of durability and reliability problems. Primary failures were in the fuel injectors, but there were also a number of Tech Report failures in mufflers, fittings, lines and electrical connectors. All these led to significant down time on the vehicles. All though most drivers were impressed with the implementation of the hydrogen technology, the reliability problems cast a negative shadow over the vehicles. In addition, most of the negative driver impressions of the hydrogen ICE vehicle operation centered around the excessive noise from the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)1 The short range of the vehicles (approximately 100 miles on a full tank) prevented wider usage and public exposure. AnTech Report final drawback was the refueling time (20 to 25 minutes) which was excessive compared to gasoline vehicles. Working within the vehicle and station constraints, CIMS executed an aggressive and comprehensive public outreach and education program. The vehicle was featured at a number of high profile events and highlighted the implementation of hydrogen fuel technology, which is a unique feature of the Rochester region. CIMS accomplished all the program tasks and objectives established at the beginning of the DOT program. In spite of the problems and issues with the vehicles and fueling station, we consider this a successful vehicle demonstration program. We look forward to engaging in future hydrogen projects and vehicle demonstration programs.
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