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Title: Evaluation of Metal Halide, Plasma, and LED Lighting Technologies for a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Mobile Light (H 2 LT)

This article reports on the testing and comparison of a prototype hydrogen fuel cell light tower (H2LT) and a conventional diesel-powered metal halide light trailer for use in road maintenance and construction activities. The prototype was originally outfitted with plasma lights and then with light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires. Light output and distribution, lighting energy efficiency (i.e., efficacy), power source thermal efficiency, and fuel costs are compared. The metal halide luminaires have 2.2 and 3.1 times more light output than the plasma and LED luminaires, respectively, but they require more power/lumen to provide that output. The LED luminaires have 1.6 times better light efficacy than either the metal halide or plasma luminaires. The light uniformity ratios produced by the plasma and LED towers are acceptable. The fuel cell thermal efficiency at the power required to operate the plasma lights is 48%, significantly higher than the diesel generator efficiency of 23% when operating the metal halide lights. Due to the increased efficiency of the fuel cell and the LED lighting, the fuel cost per lumen-hour of the H2LT is 62% of the metal halide diesel light tower assuming a kilogram of hydrogen is twice the cost of a gallon of diesel fuel.
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  1. Univ. of California, Davis, CA (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Technology & Policy (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energy Technology & Policy (Online); Journal Volume: 2; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2331-7000
Taylor and Francis
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; Fuel cell, mobile lighting, lighting efficacy, construction equipment, isoilluminance
OSTI Identifier: