DOE Grant Awarded July 31, 2019

HNEI Awarded US Department of Energy Contract

HNEI Assistant Researcher, Dr. Tatyana Reshetenko, has been awarded a 2-year contract from Pajarito Powder to characterize the performance and durability of a new generation of platinum-group metal (PGM) – free catalysts for fuel cells.  This effort is part of larger project “Active and Durable PGM-Free Cathodic Electrocatalysts for Fuel Cell Application” awarded to Pajarito Powder, HNEI, and IRD Fuel Cell by the US Department of Energy supporting early-stage research and development of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The testing will be conducted at HNEI’s Hawaii Sustainable Energy Research Facility.

US DOE Press Release:

Early stage conceptual design for Sai Gon Energy Park July 25, 2019

HNEI Supports Solar Energy Park Demonstration Project in Vietnam

HNEI and the Center for Regional and Urban Studies (CRUS) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, signed an agreement in July 2019 to develop a public Solar Energy Park (SEP) in Ho Chi Minh City.  Under HNEI's Asia-Pacific Regional Energy System Assessment (APRESA) program, CRUS will partner with local architects, engineers, universities, developers and city administration to design and construct a visible, education-based public pavilion featuring a solar PV system and various electric technologies.  The SEP will include an education component to increase public awareness of solar and other energy efficient technologies.

More information on this project can be found at

Alt Jet Fuel Pathways July 24, 2019

HNEI Researchers Coauthor Review of Bio-Based Alternative Jet Fuel Production Options

HNEI researchers and collaborators published an extensive review of potential agricultural and silvicultural resources for the production of alternative jet fuel in Hawaii and the tropics.  HNEI partnered with UH Departments of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences and Natural Resources and Environmental Management and Washington State University Department of Biological Systems Engineering on the project.  The report also summarized available data for these biomass resources undergoing pretreatment and conversion in alternative jet fuel production pathways.

Report: "Review of Biomass Resources and Conversion Technologies for Alternative Jet Fuel Production in Hawai’i and Tropical Regions" & Supporting Information
More information on this project can be found at

Molokai Dynamic Load Bank July 12, 2019

HNEI Installs Dynamic Load Bank on Moloka'i

The Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team (GridSTART) of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), University of Hawaii, in collaboration with Maui Electric Company (MECO) and with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), has proposed and installed a practical, inexpensive and effective solution to address the integration of very high levels of rooftop PV and the occasional excess of intermittent solar energy produced in aggregate by the PV systems on the Island of Moloka‘i.  In addition to serving as a means to efficiently balance total system generation and demand during periods of excess solar energy production relative to island power demand, the asset also serves as a grid stabilizing “safety valve” to rapidly absorb excess energy during unplanned system disruptions, such as a sudden loss of generation on the grid. This unique solution features a 750 kW resistive dynamic load bank connected to the island’s electrical grid.  The load bank is operated both autonomously using advanced controls according to predefined conditions and manually at MECO operator discretion from the utility control room.  The addition of this load bank on the grid has allowed MECO to release a hold (in place since 2015) on the interconnection queue for rooftop PV, allowing the addition of approximately 725 kW of new rooftop systems.  The island of Moloka‘i, with a daytime system demand that can dip as low as 3.3 MW, already has approximately 2.3 MW of rooftop PV in operation. This load bank provides a reliable means to prevent baseload diesel generation on Moloka‘i from going below its minimum reliable operating level (risking unit trip and island-wide blackout) due to excess rooftop PV energy production on the island.  GridSTART is continuing its work with MECO to develop and test the capabilities of the load bank to provide additional benefits such as frequency regulation and down reserves in coordination with a 2 MW battery previously installed and under test in further HNEI-MECO collaboration on Moloka‘i.

More information regarding this project:
HNEI Press Release:
UH News Press Release:

Additional articles: The Molokai Dispatch, Utility Dive, Civil Beat

Anaerobic Digestion Reactors July 1, 2019

HNEI Researchers Publish Method for Cross Comparative Analysis of Anaerobic Digesters

HNEI researchers have published a methodology for cross comparative analysis of anaerobic digesters.  In this novel contribution, criteria to evaluate performance of different reactor designs using a common basis for comparison were developed and applied to over 82 reactors of various designs.  Results revealed general trends and general principles to guide application.  These findings were published in "Cross Comparative Analysis of Liquid Phase Anaerobic Digestion" in the Journal of Water Process Engineering.

Korea Keynote & Workshop May 20, 2019

HNEI Specialist Delivers Keynote Address and Workshop in Korea

HNEI Specialist, Mark Glick, delivered the keynote address "Energy Policy of the State of Hawaii: Update on the World’s Leading Energy Transition Model" to the 6th International EV Expo / 4th International Energy Conference on May 9, 2019 in Jeju, South Korea and presented "Microgrid Law & Policy of Hawaii Strategies for Resilience and Cost Control" at the 2019 International Conference on Microgrid Law & Policy in Asia-Pacific Islands at Seoul National University School of Law on May 13, 2019.  The presentation slides for both speeches are available below.

"Energy Policy of the State of Hawaii: Update on the World’s Leading Energy Transition Model"
"Microgrid Law & Policy of Hawaii: Strategies for Resilience and Cost Control"

DOE AMR May 6, 2019

HNEI Research Presented at 2019 DOE Annual Merit Review

The U.S. Department of Energy held the 2019 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation meeting (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program on April 29 - May 1, 2019.  Of the showcased hydrogen and fuel cell projects, HNEI Assistant Researchers, Dr. Nicolas Gaillard and Dr. Godwin Severa, each presented updates on their DOE-funded research projects and their presentation slides can be viewed below.  Dr. Gaillard reported on novel thin film solar absorbers with tunable catalytic properties and “energetics” for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. This project, performed in collaboration with partners at Stanford and UNLV and supported the U.S. Department of Energy, combines state-of-the-art synthesis processes, advanced analytical methods and theoretical modeling to accelerate the development of novel chalcopyrite materials (e.g., Cu(In,Al)Se2) as well as solid/solid and solid/liquid interfaces.  Dr. Severa reported a new process for synthesis of activated magnesium borides that can be hydrogenated to magnesium borohydride at significantly lower temperatures and pressures than previously reported.

Dr. Gaillard: "Novel Chalcopyrites for Advanced Photoelectrochemical Water-Splitting"
Dr. Severa: "Development of Magnesium Boride Etherates as Hydrogen Storage Materials"

May 2, 2019

HNEI Research Featured in Batteries' Special Issue

Research supported by the Office of Naval Research and conducted by HNEI researchers, led by Matthieu Dubarry, is a feature paper invited by editorial office of Batteries in the Special Issue on Batteries and Supercapacitors Aging.  This research paper "Synthetic vs. Real Driving Cycles: A Comparison of Electric Vehicle Battery Degradation" is included in the journal's June 2018 issue and is available at

Automobile dependency and the inexorable proliferation of electric vehicles compels accurate predictions of cycle life across multiple usage conditions and for multiple lithium-ion battery systems.  Synthetic driving cycles have been essential in accumulating data on EV battery lifetimes.  However, since battery deterioration is path-dependent, the representability of synthetic cycles must be questioned.  Hence, this work compared three different synthetic driving cycles to real driving data in terms of mimicking actual EV battery degradation.

DOE RPS Technical Report April 18, 2019

HNEI Specialist Co-Authors DOE International RPS Technical Report

HNEI Specialist, Mark Glick, was a co-author with researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on a technical report requested by the Government of Vietnam to examine effective Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies globally that was published by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Technical Report: "International Best Practices forImplementing and Designing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Policies"

NELHA H2 Station April 17, 2019

First Public Zero Emission Hydrogen Bus System Nearing Completion

HNEI is pleased to report that the first publicly operated Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) system in Hawaii, comprised of a 29-passenger fuel cell electric bus and HNEI's hydrogen production and fueling station, is nearing completion at the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA) campus on the Island of Hawaii.  The bus will be operated by the County of Hawaii Hele-On bus service.

More information regarding this system can be found in this press release: