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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Methodology to Assess the Reliability of Hydrogen-based Transportation Energy Systems


This paper introduces a method to assess the reliability of hydrogen supply systems for transportation applications. It relies on a panel of experts to rate the reliability and importance of various metrics as they pertain to selected hydrogen systems. These are aggregated to develop broad reliability scores to be compared across systems. A trial application of the methodology is presented, where a group of hydrogen researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis comprise the expert panel. Two hydrogen pathways supplying a hypothetical network of refueling stations in Sacramento were compared. The first uses centralized steam reforming of imported liquefied natural gas and pipeline distribution of hydrogen. The second electrolyzes water onsite from electricity produced independent of the grid, and no hydrogen transport is required. The panel determined the second pathway to be more reliable, primarily due to the lack of imports, the distributed nature of the system, and the lack of hydrogen transport. This preliminary application only intends to demonstrate how the method is applied, however, and the results presented here should not be taken as definite.

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