RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability is conducting a research demonstration initiative that seeks to improve the operation of hydrogen-powered vehicles and increase public understanding of hydrogen fuel.
A fully operational hydrogen fueling station was recently unveiled on the RIT campus. The station is being used to supply hydrogen to some of RIT's Facilities Management and Public Safety vehicles. GIS engineers are analyzing the vehicles to assess the effect of hydrogen on engine performance, component wear, fuel efficiency, and overall environmental impact, which will assist organizations investigating the use of hydrogen fuel and help designers improve future vehicle systems.
The County of Monroe and General Motors have access to the station to fuel their hydrogen vehicle fleets. RIT is also collaborating with these organizations to enhance public understanding of hydrogen fuel through a series of educational forums featuring GM's hydrogen demonstration vehicle, the Chevy Equinox.
"Hydrogen fuel has the ability to become a central alternative to fossil fuel. This project will provide critical information that will assist designers in improving hydrogen transportation," notes Dr. Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
"The research will also assist the public in learning more about the technology and enhance hydrogen's development as an alternative fuel source," adds Dr. Michael Haselkorn, research faculty at the institute and one of the engineers on the project.
The initiative is being funded through a three-year grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and is a component of the state's Renewable Energy Initiative.
"These combined efforts will help transform our energy systems and promote the goals of both enhanced environmental quality and economic development," adds Haselkorn.