Energy Efficiency

Hawaii has aggressive goals for reduction of fossil fuel usage through energy efficiency. HNEI’s primary activities in this area include research on high efficiency buildings and building energy management; and support of Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC) to replace conventional AC systems. HNEI also conducts research to support the development and deployment of advanced transportation systems with efforts currently focused on the acceptance and integration of electric vehicles.

Building Energy Management

HNEI’s objectives are to support the development and deployment of energy efficient buildings through research, testing and validation of related technologies, education and training, and project collaboration with private and public sector partners.

Jim Maskrey | Overview | Projects | Technical Reports | Presentations


Building Energy Management


Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC)

SWAC has significant potential to decrease the State of Hawaii’s reliance on imported oil, use of potable water, and use of chemical refrigerants to power and cool conventional air conditioning systems. It also has wide-ranging applicability for commercial and defense applications throughout the Pacific Region and elsewhere in the world. HNEI conducts analysis of design and performance enhancement technologies to reduce cost, along with modeling efforts to improve understanding of impacts on the marine ecosystem.

Chris Ostrander



TransportationHNEI’s Transportation program is focused primarily on the impact of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Hawaii. Complementing HNEI’s strong core research and technology validation efforts in Alternate Fuels, Fuel Cells & Batteries, and Grid Systems, efforts span EV battery performance and integration into grid power systems, hydrogen production and infrastructure demonstration to support fuel cell hybrid vehicles, and development of alternative fuels primarily for ground transportation. Our objective is to contribute to a sustainable transportation system by analyzing, modeling and demonstrating replacement fuels, infrastructure and critical technologies.


Electric Vehicles (EVs)

HNEI’s conducts analysis and supports modeling of Electric Vehicle (EV) battery performance, economic impacts, and power grid integration. For more on grid impacts, see Grid Integration.

Katherine McKenzie | Projects | Technical Reports | Papers & Proceedings


Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Vehicles

Hydrogen infrastructure efforts include evaluation of electrolysis to produce hydrogen, demonstration of fueling infrastructure, and the impact of harsh environments on fuel cell operation. For more information, please see Alternate Fuels: Hydrogen.


Alternate Transportation Fuels

Alternative Transportation FuelsHNEI’s research into alternative fuels for transportation spans a range of liquid biofuels produced from biomass, along with novel techniques to make hydrogen. For more information, please see Alternate Fuels: Biomass & Biofuels, and Hydrogen.