This contamination free technology has taken a crucial role in the development of modern aeronautics and the present objective is the realization of fully electrical planes. Hydrogen fuel cells are currently being tested as propulsion system in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by companies like Boeing, where all the advantages it could offer are being taken into consideration, from its efficiency to the possibility to recycle the water generated as by-product, maybe for use in the plane’s toilets.
The application of this technology as propulsion for large commercial planes is far fetched, since at present time, fuel cells do not provide enough energy, but this technology could be implemented as an auxiliary power unit (APUs) that could start the engines in the plane, power the air conditioning, the lights, cabin pressure… etc.
The European project “power optimised aircraft” aims to further develop fuel cell technology applied to high efficiency APUs. This project involves several European private companies and different public organisms from different countries. Spain is represented by the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA), CESA SA. and SENER SA.
There are different approaches towards how the hydrogen needed to fuel the cells is to be obtained. To this date, most experimental designs include high pressure storage tanks for the hydrogen, but this presents serious risks. It would call for changes to the plane designs and refuelling logistics, all added to the fact that the light density of hydrogen implies a fast consumption rate that would only allow for short flights. All these inconveniences have favoured the study of other sources of hydrogen, such as its on board production from kerosene already present in the plane as engine fuel, therefore eliminating the need for any major modification.
Two different procedures to reform the kerosene into hydrogen are being studied; one involving preparing the kerosene by a previous process to obtain richer hydrogen flow. And the second option would be a fuel cell capable of transforming the hydrocarbon directly into electric energy.
This new system would be lighter and more compact, reducing the weight of the equipment, but the technology to achieve this is currently at the evaluation phase.
Aware of the repercussion of this new technology in the aerospace sector, the Círculo de Innovación de Materiales, Tecnología Aerospacial y Nanotecnología (CIMTAN) (Innovation Circle in Materials, Aerospace Technology and Nanotechnology) is producing a report on the subject to be released at the end of the year. Its aim is to offer an overview of the technology and set the trends and roadmap that the scientific community is following.
Oficina Transferencia Resultados | alfa
Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University
TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy