Date of Award

8-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Chowdhury, Mashrur

Committee Member

Ogle , Jennifer

Committee Member

Juang , C. Hsein

Committee Member

Taaffe , Kevin M.

Abstract

The efforts of US automobile manufacturers to introduce Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) to the automobile market, and reduce fossil fuel dependency are changing the energy consumption scenario of the US transportation network. The evolution in Connected Vehicle Technology (CVT) is further accelerating the vision of a safe and sustainable transportation system for the 21st century. However, before such system can be an actuality to meet future US transporation needs, a new generation of traffic micro-simulation tools must be developed to evaluate connected vehicle technologies that can support AFVs in the transportation network.
This research focused on developing an evaluation framework for purposes of evaluating the impacts of AFVs at a vehicle and a network level. In this two-phased approach, as described in this dissertation, the author first investigated the environmental and energy impacts of AFVs at a network level and then investigated the energy consumption of AFVs and their impacts on the environment at a vehicle level. The first phase of the research involved integrating the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) latest vehicle emission model, MOVES with the PARAMICS microscopic traffic simulator to develop a modeling approach for a reliable estimation of daily fuel savings and emissions. A case study was conducted using a calibrated and validated road network in Greenville, South Carolina to evaluate the integrated framework. The emission and fuel consumption impacts of four alternative fuels; Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Electricity, Ethanol (E10), and Biodiesel (BD20), were evaluated. The findings of this phase of the research were deemed of value for conducting environmental impact studies using MOVES at a project level, and the developed integrated modeling strategy was found readily adaptable for similar studies in other regions.
The second phase of the research involved developing 'CUIntegration', an integrated simulator, to evaluate environmental and energy impacts of AFVs at a vehicle level. The 'CUIntegration' is capable of integrating any vehicle model developed with the MATLAB-Simulink, and any roadway network developed with the VISSIM microscopic traffic simulator. Unlike traditional traffic micro-simulation models, CUIntegration is most useful in creating a more accurate representation of the roadway network with conventional vehicles and AFVs (e.g. Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), Electric Vehicles (EVs), and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles).
A routing strategy was also developed to route an AFV based upon the driver's choice of minimizing (1) travel time, (2) energy consumption or (3) a combination of both. A case study was developed in this phase to evaluate a routing strategy for PHEVs and EVs. CUIntegration successfully integrated vehicle models developed in MATLAB-Simulink for supporting PHEV and EV routing strategies.
The alternative fuel vehicles evaluated in the first phase resulted in a linear decrease in environmental damage at a network level with the increasing penetration rate of alternative fuel vehicles. The vehicle level impacts for PHEVs measured in the second phase of this study yielded an approximate 5 to 30 percent of energy savings for each vehicle when the routing strategy was optimized using the energy consumption minimization option.

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