Transitioning to a Green “Hydrogen Economy”
As more zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) hit our roads, we will need an integrated electrical power system to respond to their higher energy demands. The challenge is to develop technologies that will allow us to transition to a lower-emission electrical power grid that is fully integrated with ZEVs.
Dr. Michael Fowler, Canada Research Chair in Zero-Emission Vehicles and Hydrogen Energy Systems, is trying to demonstrate how power generation systems can operate more effectively while also providing hydrogen energy storage through power-to-gas and hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).
Fowler has already developed models for electrochemical energy storage, distributed energy (such as wind and solar), and large-scale systems. These models consider the unique impact of providing energy to ZEVs, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen for FCVs as well as the convergence of natural gas distribution and electrical transmission systems.
Fowler and his research team are now developing battery and FCV powertrain “adaptive” control systems and maintenance strategies. They are also studying battery and fuel cell reliability. This will support optimum vehicle power train configuration, which is now hampering market development of ZEVs.
Ultimately, Fowler’s research program will yield key insights into how to integrate zero-emission vehicles into a cleaner energy generation system that can accommodate multiple energy vectors and technologies, including renewables, hydrogen and electricity. This will help provide the technology Canada needs to transition to a green “hydrogen economy” with fewer emissions.