Energy efficiency is the foundation for reaching Hawai‘i’s aggressive renewable goals to reduce fossil fuel usage and carbon emissions. HNEI’s primary activities in this area include research on high efficiency and net zero energy buildings; building energy management systems and controls; and desiccant dehumidification. HNEI conducts analysis and modeling to assess the transition to transportation electrification and other alternative technologies and fuels, with a focus on the impact to petroleum imports and emissions for both transportation and electricity in Hawai‘i.
Energy Efficiency in Buildings
HNEI’s energy efficiency objectives are to support the development and deployment of energy efficient buildings through research, testing, and validation of energy related technologies, education and training, and project collaboration with private and public sector partners. Three energy neutral classrooms were built and monitored for several years on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. The performance of these buildings helps us understand optimum operation of mixed mode bridlings. More recently, two net zero energy, mixed mode buildings were built on the UH Mānoa campus and currently serve as research platforms for multiple developing technologies.
HNEI focuses primarily on the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) in Hawai‘i. Complementing HNEI’s strong core research and technology validation efforts in our other research areas, our efforts comprise of EV battery performance and its integration into grid power systems and hydrogen production and infrastructure demonstration in support of fuel cell hybrid vehicles. HNEI’s main objective is to contribute to a sustainable transportation system by analyzing, modeling, and demonstrating replacement fuels, infrastructure and critical technologies.
Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Vehicles
Hydrogen infrastructure efforts include evaluation of electrolysis to produce hydrogen, demonstration of fueling infrastructure, and studies on the impact of harsh environments on fuel cell operation and the durability of hydrogen equipment exposed to a salt air environment. More information in these areas can be found under Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.
Alternate Transportation Fuels
HNEI’s research into alternative fuels for transportation includes the development of supply chains for alternative, renewable, sustainable, jet fuel production. More information in this area can be found under Biomass & Biofuels.