Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Hailin Li

Committee Member

Roger Chen

Committee Member

Yi Luo


Traditional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines contribute significantly to increasing emissions of greenhouses gasses (GHG). There has been increasing interest in powering vehicles using green energy include using electricity produced by wind turbine and solar panel. The green electricity can be used to directly charge the Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), or producing hydrogen as fuel for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) by converting electrical energy to hydrogen (H2) through water electrolysis. The low energy density H2 produced can be stored on board as either compressed H2 or liquefied H2.

This research examines the energy consumption and system efficiency from electricity produced by wind power to charge a car battery or filled to hydrogen tank of FCEV using vehicle operation mileage as reference. The distance specific consumption of wind turbine energy is investigated. The energy consumption of H2 production, compression, liquefaction, and pre-chilling are accounted for and converted to electricity on a per kg H2 fuel basis. The efficiency of a fuel cell, battery charging, discharging, and motor, derived from literature review, are accounted for and used to calculate electricity consumed. Over 100 miles, the average wind turbine energy consumed by BEV, FCEV with compressed, and liquid hydrogen was 43.6 kWh, 87.2 kWh, and 111.18 kWh, respectively at a combined city and highway setting. This research shows that the BEV pathway is more energy efficient than the FCEV pathway. This conclusion is derived only on the basis of energy consumption without taking into account the cost of the system. The literature data also shows that fuel cell system is much more expensive than the battery system.