Austin Power Engineering LLC. We provide the value added engineering service in sofc, pemfc, lithium ion battry, hydrogen storage, phev, hev, etc.
   
 
OVERVIEW
CONSULTING
PROJECTS
- Manufacturing Cost Modeling
- Product Development
- LabVIEW

CASE STUDIES

- Energy Storage
- Electric Vehicle
- Electrolyzer & Fuel Cell
- SOFC
- Hydrogen Storage
- Photovoltaic
- Appliance
- Stirling Engine
- Medical Device
 
 

Experienced Clean Energy /Power Technology Assessment and Manufacturing Cost Analysis Projects

Energy Storage for Transportation

Lithium-ion Battery

- Cost Analysis of Direct Hydrogen PEM Fuel Cell / Lithium-ion Battery Hybrid Power Source for Transportation (PDF)  , Fuel Cell Seminar 2011, Orlando, November 2011

- For a leading lithium-ion battery manufacturer,  led an electrical vehicle (EV) Lithium Ion battery pack manufacturing cost assessment project. The assignment required to assess the manufacturing costs including battery cell, battery block, battery stack, and battery pack. Various manufacturing processes were evaluated, such as ultrasonic welding vs. laser welding and spot welding, etc. The results helped the better understand their electrical vehicle lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing processes and costs.

- PHEV Battery Cost Assessment, PHEV Battery Costing Phase II, 2009 (PDF), DOE Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review, Arlington, VA 2009

- For the Department of Energy (DOE), led a plug hybrid electrical vehicle (PHEV) Lithium Ion battery technology & manufacturing cost assessment project (Phase II). The assignment required to assess the manufacturing cost on four different cathode materials (NCA, NCM, LiFeP4, and LiMnO4) for sixteen scenarios. The results helped DOE better understand the PHEV battery technical requirements and manufacturing costs.

- For a tier one automobile supplier,  led a hybrid electrical vehicle (HEV) Lithium Ion battery technology & manufacturing cost assessment project. The assignment required to assess the HEV battery pack manufacturing costs according to  various cathode active materials and manufacturing scenarios. The results helped the client better understand the HEV battery manufacturing cost drivers.

- For the Department of Energy (DOE), led a PHEV Lithium Ion battery technology & manufacturing cost assessment project (Phase I). The assignment required to assess the manufacturing cost on four different cathode materials (NCA, NCM, LiFeP4, and LiMnO4) for sixteen scenarios. The results helped DOE better understand the PHEV battery technical requirements and manufacturing costs.

Hydrogen Storage

- For US DOE, have worked on the US DOE’s on-board hydrogen storage project as part of its “Grand Challenge” program from 2004 to 2009.  This independent analysis project  helped guiding  the US DOE and Grand Challenge participants toward promising research and development (R&D) and commercialization pathways by evaluating the various hydrogen storage technologies on a consistent basis.  Six categories of on-board hydrogen storage have been evaluated - compressed hydrogen, metal hydride, carbon-based materials, chemical hydrogen storage, liquid hydrogen storage, and cryo-compressed hydrogen storage.  

Cost Analysis of Hydrogen Storage Systems, 2007 (PDF)

FY 2007 DOE Hydrogen Program Progress Report

Analysis of Hydrogen Storage Materials and On-Board Systems, 2007 (PDF)

2007 DOE Merit Review

Analysis of Hydrogen Storage Materials and On-Board Systems, 2007 (PDF)

2007 DOE Hydrogen Delivery Analysis Meeting

Cost Analysis of Hydrogen Storage Systems, 2006 (PDF)

FY 2006 DOE Hydrogen Program Progress Report

Analysis of Hydrogen Storage Materials and On-Board Systems, 2006 (PDF)

2006 DOE Merit Review

Analyses of Hydrogen Storage Materials and On-Board System, 2005 (PDF)

FY 2005 DOE Hydrogen Program Progress Report

Analyses of Hydrogen Storage Materials and On-Board Systems, 2005 (PDF)

2005 DOE Merit Review

Comparison of On-Board Hydrogen Storage Options, 2005 (PDF)

2005 Fuel Cell Seminar

Compressed Hydrogen and PEM Fuel Cell System, 2004 (PDF)

2004 Fuel Cell Tech Team Meeting, Detroit, MI

Energy Storage for Utility and Stationary Application

Lithium-ion Battery

- For the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), led a residential Lithium Ion battery backup power system technology & cost assessment project. The assignment required preliminary energy storage system architect design and detailed manufacturing cost analysis on four different cathode materials (NCA, NCM, LiFeP4, and LiMnO4). The results will help EPRI better understand the lithium ion battery stationary application as well as system costs.

- For a major computer manufacturer, led an assignment to develop a Lithium Ion battery pack manufacturing cost model for a major computer manufacturer. The assignment required to design high volume 18650 cell manufacturing process as well as cost analysis. Results from the analysis were used to help the client in a legal case.

Lead Acid Battery

- For a UK leading clean energy firm,  led a lead acid battery backup power system life cycle cost assessment project. The assignment required preliminary energy storage system architect design and detailed maintenance and operation analysis.  The results will help the client better understand the lead acid stationary battery ownership costs.

Redox Flow Battery

- For a UK start-up company, performed a cost analysis for a Pt  free liquid cathode PEM fuel cell system based on redox flow battery technology. A bottom-up manufacturing cost model was developed which included the major stack components. The model showed the importance of Pt free liquid cathode in reducing the system costs. The major system cost drivers were identified. Additionally, the system cost comparisons were included by comparing to the conventional PEM fuel cells and SOFCs.

Solar-hydrogen Based Residential Energy Storage

- Due diligent for a potential commercial client , the assignment evaluated the system deisgns and manufacturing costs of the residential solar-hydrogen production systems. There were mainly two approaches for the residential solar-hydrogen production. Option one was the photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) which convert solar photon energy and simultaneously electrolyze water to hydrogen and oxygen. The generated hydrogen could be compressed and stored in the hydrogen storage tanks. Option two used the  conventional high efficient PV to produce DC electricity and to connect directly to an electrolyzer stack, which is the option two. We designed the system schematics and  will analyze the detailed manufacturing costs of the two systems according to the client request.

Flying-Wheel

- Due diligent for a potential commercial client at Austin TX,  the assignment evaluated the flying wheel system manufacturing processes.  The detailed manufacturing processes were studied via client plant visit. The results would help the potential client improve the manufacturing cycle time and  better understand the alternative fabrication methods .

PEM Fuel Cell

2011

Cost Analysis of Direct Hydrogen PEM Fuel Cell / Lithium-ion Battery Hybrid Power Source for Transportation (PDF)

Fuel Cell Seminar 2011, Orlando, November 2011

2010

Portable Power Fuel Cell Manufacturing Cost Analyses (PDF)

Fuel Cell Seminar 2010, San Antonio, October 2010

Direct Hydrogen PEMFC Manufacturing Cost Estimation for Automotive Applications, 2010  (PDF)

DOE Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review, Washington DC

2009

Direct Hydrogen PEMFC Manufacturing Cost Estimation for Automotive Applications, 2009 (PDF)

DOE Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review, Arlington, VA

2008

Direct Hydrogen PEMFC Manufacturing Cost Estimation for Automotive Applications, 2008 (PDF)

Fuel Cell Tech Team Meeting, Detroit, MI

2007

Direct Hydrogen PEMFC Manufacturing Cost Estimation for Automotive Applications, 2007 (PDF)

DOE Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review

Cost Analysis of Fuel Cell Stack/Systems, 2007 (PDF)

FY 2007 DOE Hydrogen Program Progress Report

2006

Direct Hydrogen PEMFC Manufacturing Cost Estimation for Automotive Applications, 2006 (PDF)

DOE Hydrogen Program Annual Merit Review, Arlington, VA

Cost Analysis of Fuel Cell Stack/Systems, 2006 (PDF)

FY 2006 DOE Hydrogen Program Progress Report

2005

Cost Analysis of PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Transportation, 2005 (PDF)

NREL/SR-560-39104

Abstract: The successful commercialization of PEM fuel cells in transportation markets requires that the technology be competitive with internal combustion engine powertrains with regard to performance and cost, while meeting efficiency and emissions targets. TIAX has been working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since the late 1990s to assess the cost of PEM fuel cell systems using near-term technology as a basis, but cost modeled at high-production volumes. Integral to this effort has been the development of a system configuration in conjunction with Argonne National Laboratories (ANL), the specification of performance parameters and catalyst requirements, the development of representative component designs and manufacturing processes for these components, and the development of a comprehensive bill of materials and list of purchased components. The model, data, component designs, and results have been refined on the basis of comments from the FreedomCAR Technical Team and fuel cell system and component developers.

 In 2005, the cost of an 80 kW direct hydrogen fuel cell system was assessed relative to the DOE 2005 target of $125/kW. This system includes the fuel cell stack and balance-of-plant (BOP) components for water, thermal, and fuel management. Hydrogen storage is not included in this target. In this report, we provide a comprehensive description of the assumptions, approach, and final results of the 2005 PEMFC costing effort. The results of sensitivity and Monte Carlo analyses on components and the overall system are presented including the most important cost factors and the uncertainty in the fuel cell system cost projection given the model assumptions. The effects of selected scenarios on the fuel cell system cost ($/kW) were assessed, including the effect of platinum price and the effect of individual component markups on overall system cost. The results of these analyses are presented and their implications discussed.

PEM Fuel Cell Cost Status, 2005 (PDF)

2005 Fuel Cell Seminar

Cost Analysis of Fuel Cell Stack/Systems, 2005 (PDF)

FY 2005 DOE Hydrogen Program Progress Report

2004

Cost Analyses of Fuel Cell Stacks/Systems, 2004 (PDF)

DE-FC02-99EE50587, 2004 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Merit Review Meeting, Philadelphia, PA

Cost Analysis of Fuel Cell Systems for Transportation, 2004 (PDF)

DE-SC02-98EE50526, 2004 FreedomCar Fuel Cell Tech Team Meeting, Detroit, MI

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)

2011:

For Harvard University, developed a low temperature SOFC stack manufacturing cost model. The cost analysis activity clearly showed the major cost drivers and cost reduction potentials of the existing SOFC stack design by value mapping the fabrication processes. The work was highly appreciated by the researchers.

2004:

Cost Model of SOFC Technology, 2004 (PDF)

Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, First International Conference on Fuel Cell Development and Deployment, 2004, Storrs, Connecticut

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Manufacturing Cost Model: Simulating Relationships between Performance, Manufacturing, and Cost of Production, 2004  (PDF)

DOE Cooperative Agreement Number DE-FC26-02NT41568

Abstract: The successful commercialization of fuel cells will depend on the achievement of competitive system costs and efficiencies. System cost directly impacts the capital equipment component of cost of electricity (COE) and is a major contributor to the O&M component. The replacement costs for equipment (also heavily influenced by stack life) is generally a major contributor to O&M costs.  

In this project, we worked with the SECA industrial teams to estimate the impact of general manufacturing issues of interest using an activities-based cost model for anode-supported planar SOFC stacks with metallic interconnects.  An earlier model developed for NETL for anode supported planar SOFCs was enhanced by linkage to a performance/thermal/mechanical model, by addition of Quality Control steps to the process flow with specific characterization methods, and by assessment of economies of scale.  The 3-dimensional adiabatic performance model was used to calculate the average power density for the assumed geometry and operating conditions (i.e., inlet and exhaust temperatures, utilization, and fuel composition) based on publicly available polarization curves.

The SECA teams provided guidance on what manufacturing and design issues should be assessed in this Phase I demonstration of cost modeling capabilities. We considered the impact of the following parameters on yield of cost: layer thickness (i.e., anode, electrolyte, and cathode) on cost and stress levels, statistical nature of ceramic material failure on yield, and Quality Control steps and strategies.

In this demonstration of the capabilities of the linked model, only the active stack (i.e., anode, electrolyte, and cathode) and interconnect materials were included in the analysis. Factory costs are presented on an area and kilowatt basis to allow developers to extrapolate to their level of performance, stack design, materials, seal and system configurations, and internal corporate overheads and margin goals.

2003:

Manufacturing Model: Simulating Relationships Between Performance, Manufacturing, and Cost of Production, 2003 (PDF)

SECA Core Technology Program Workshop, Sacramento, California

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)

2010

Portable Power Fuel Cell Manufacturing Cost Analyses (PDF)

Fuel Cell Seminar 2010, San Antonio, October 2010

Photovoltaic / Solar

Led an assignment to perform the photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing process assessment and manufacturing commercialization analysis for a major CIS / CIGS thin film PV manufacturer in California. The assignments required technology assessment on client’s scale-up manufacturing line (20MW) step by step. The major processes included sputtering / PVD, CVD, lasher scribing, sintering, etc. The day-to-day manufacturing process data, such as SPC charts, material scrap, cycle time, automation level, etc., were evaluated in detail. The process based manufacturing cost model was also developed to analyze the potential cost reduction goals.

Led an assignment to evaluate a thin film A-Si roll-to-roll manufacturing process scale-up (40MW) for a major PV manufacturer. The assignment required to evaluate the scalability of the major processes / equipments to mass production, such as APCVD, PECVD, laser scribing, etching, etc. The capital investment and time line were also studied.

Due diligent on varies photovoltaic technology and manufacturing process based on Arthur D. Little /TIAX multi-years industrial experiences. The goal was to develop a new photovoltaic technology platform to meet the rapid increased demand in industrial. The in-deep studied technologies included a-Si, CdTe, CIS/CIGS, crystalline, and wafer Si. The platform covered the cell technologies, manufacturing processes, marketing, and policies.

Experienced Product Development Projects

  • Residential Dishwasher
    • Led a multi million dollar residential appliance development project. The main development role was focused on competitor product evaluations, washing system development, motor/pump specification, wash arms development, control algorithm development, cycle development, and optimizing the prototype performance using Design of Experiments.
    • Led a dishwasher fast drying system development assignment. The assignment required the superior drying performance which means the china and silver wares are completely dry after the cycle. The development role was focused on blower and heat exchanger design.
    • Assessed the feasibility of redesigning a US dishwasher to meeting European standard with the minimum design changes for a major appliance manufacturer. A serials of AHAM and European standard tests were performed.
    • Conducted a pre-sale assignment to improve the dishwasher performance without infringing the related patents for a major appliance manufacturer. The preliminary prototype was built and a serials of AHAM and DOE standard tests were performed.

Test and Automation Control Using LabVIEW

  • Developed a water heater test station for the Department of Energy. The test station can test six different water heaters at the same time. The tests continuously run 24 hours per day for 30 days. The test station used LabVIEW and National Instrument hardware.
  • Trouble shooting a control software for a water heater butane test chamber using LabVIEW. The hardware and interface included PCI DAQ card, SCXI chassis, GPIB, etc.
  • Developed test control software for a 20 million dollar Stirling engine R&D project using LabVIEW. In DAQ program, the hardware setting and logging data were stored in Access database. The needed data was saved into Excel data file using SQL query. In the control program, PID control algorithm was developed. The hardware and interface included PXI chassis, E serials DAQ card, SCXI chassis, GPIB, RS232, etc.
  • Developed a test lab for a multimillion dollar dishwasher development project using LabVIEW. The lab was AHAM and DOE qualified and conducted four dishwasher tests at the same time. The hardware and interface included PCI DAQ card, SCXI chassis, USB GPIB, RS232, etc.
  • Developed a dishwasher fast drying system test station for a potential client. The assignment requires the superior drying performance which means the china and silver wares are completely dry after the cycle. The temperature, relative humidity, power, energy, air flow rate were monitored and recorded during the test. The test station used LabVIEW and National Instrument hardware.
  • Developed a residential oven prototype control and data acquisition program using LabVIEW. The complicated test plans were stored in a Excel file which would control the oven for the different tests automatically.
  • Developed a RFID control system for a food packaging application. The RFID tag contains the information of type of food, weight, and recommended cooking processes. The new designed oven control system can scan the package tag, read the cooking procedure, and cook the food according to the procedure. The hardware and interface included PCI DAQ card, SCXI chassis, RS232, etc.
  • Developed a product management database using Visual Basic / MS Access for an electronics manufacturer. The database can keep track senor and components in manufacturing floor. The database will be combined with their current ERP software to improve the quality and productivity.
  • Led a new water heater field test data analysis assignment for California Energy Commission using Visual Basic. The assignment required to analyze 20 water heaters in five years day to day data log file and evaluate the efficiency performance. The data file size is about 2 G bytes.

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