2005 Outstanding Master’s Thesis – Jonathan Weinert

There is growing interest in hydrogen as a transportation fuel in California. Plans are underway to construct a Hydrogen Highway network of stations across the state to†stimulate fuel cell vehicle deployment. One of the key challenges however in the planning and financing of this network is determining the costs of the stations. The thesis examines the costs for seven different station types are analyzed with respect to size, siting factors, and operating factors. This analysis has been applied to analyzing the costs of the proposed California Hydrogen Highway Network in order to understand the costs of†different hydrogen infrastructure options.

Prof. Ogden notes that Weinert’s thesis is “an excellent example of engineering/economic analysis applied to a real world policy question: how to build a low cost hydrogen fuel network.”She further explains, “Prior to Jonathan’s work, hydrogen station costs were not well known. In fact, the wildly differing cost and performance data found in the literature made it very difficult for planners to estimate costs for hydrogen demonstration projects, such as those being considered in California and other states… Through this work, he was able to identify low cost options for stations, and find ways to reduce costs through station siting and sizing.

Jonathan’s thesis work has had a large impact beyond its intrinsic academic interest. The California EPA used results from Jonathan’s model as a cornerstone for planning analyses for the California Hydrogen Highway network[; he] … gave invited presentations to the California EPA, that had a major influence on policy proposals.”

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