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Recommending Hydrogen Fuel Cell Retrofits for Forklifts in Energy Audit Reports by Industrial Assessment Centers

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Energy Education Courses, Labs, and Projects II

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1102.1 - 25.1102.10

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Paper Authors


Lynn Albers North Carolina State University

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Lynn Albers received her B.S. in mathematics with a minor in music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and her M.S. in mechanical engineering with a concentration in nuclear engineering at Manhattan College in 1996. After working for Nortel Networks and the North Carolina Solar Center, Albers matriculated at North Carolina State University, where she is a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering. Her dissertation spans the Colleges of Engineering and Education and will be the first of its kind at NCSU. In addition, Albers project manages the NCSU MAE State Energy Internship and Fellowship Program under the direction of Dr. Stephen Terry. To date, the program has 35 interns under the mentorship of energy engineers in both the private and public sectors. When available, Albers assists with energy assessments for both the program and the Industrial Assessment Center.

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Recommending Hydrogen Fuel Cell Retrofits for Forklifts in Energy Audit Reports by Industrial Assessment CentersAbstractIndustrial Assessment Centers (IAC) are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and arelocated in 24 universities throughout the country. They provide small and medium sizedmanufacturers no cost energy assessments performed by university graduate students. This is awin-win situation; the manufacturing plants receive a report detailing ways to save energy whilethe student receives valuable, hands-on training in energy efficiency. The IAC located at theuniversity performs twenty audits per year and incorporates renewable energy recommendationswhenever possible. As companies implement the recommendations made by the IAC, there is acontinuous need to find new opportunities for energy savings. The inspiration for the hydrogenfuel cell retrofit recommendation came while touring Ballard, a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer,during the 2011 ASEE Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The tour was arranged and sponsoredby the Energy Conversion and Conservation division.To date, several recommendations have been written for manufacturers of various sizes. Thispaper will present an analysis and compilation of energy savings, cost savings andimplementation costs associated with making a hydrogen fuel cell recommendation. Writing therecommendation is also an excellent learning opportunity for the student who matriculates in theMechanical Engineering department. Writing a recommendation of this type challenges thestudent to learn about the chemical reaction associated with hydrogen fuel cells, the processesassociated with the production of hydrogen gas, and the equations necessary to calculate theelectrical usage associated with charging stations. Thus, the paper will also contain students’perceptions of how helpful this process is for learning new concepts.

Albers, L. (2012, June), Recommending Hydrogen Fuel Cell Retrofits for Forklifts in Energy Audit Reports by Industrial Assessment Centers Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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