Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert Boehm

Number of Pages



The following thesis details all design, fabrication and analysis necessary for the conversion of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered full size pickup truck to run on compressed hydrogen gas. As an industry for hydrogen powered vehicles develops, adherence to a specified set of safety regulations is necessary to ensure the safety of vehicle end users. Currently accepted standards for hydrogen vehicle safety follow regulations put forth by NFPA for CNG powered vehicles. The design of the fuel system follows applicable hydrogen and CNG regulations. A potentially revolutionary fuel delivery system that consolidates a gaseous fuel injector and a spark plug is to be employed on this vehicle; A device of this type has the potential to greatly simplify future hydrogen vehicle conversions. Electronic sensors implemented in the system provide a means for leak detection around the location of the tanks. A fuel cell and a bank of three super capacitors have been installed to replace the alternator and battery. Replacing the alternator with a fuel cell converts the chemical energy of the hydrogen fuel already stored on the vehicle to electrical energy more efficiently than using the engine to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy then into electrical energy. The fuel cell was a 1.2 kW PEM stack type produced by Ballard. Computer control of the engine is accomplished via the factory computer already installed in the truck. Programming a fuel table custom to hydrogen is accomplished via an aftermarket reprogramming module and complementing software. The initial fuel table is determined from thermodynamic relations pertaining to compressible flow. Preliminary ignition timing tables were obtained from approximations of hydrogen flame speed scaled to the density of the air fuel mixture. Included in this thesis are all design criteria, analysis and recommended methods for modeling engine performance.


Conversion; Evaluation; Ford; Hydrogen; Performance; Pickup; Powered; Truck

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering; Automobiles--Design and construction

File Format


File Size

2897.92 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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