Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hydrogen, the energy vector for the plane of tomorrow

08.11.2007
The scientific community is progressively experiencing a greater interest in environmentally friendly energy generation technologies, and their suitable applications, such is the case of hydrogen fuel cells applied to aeronautics.

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
Further information:
http://www.inta.es

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Silicon solar cell of ISFH yields 25% efficiency with passivating POLO contacts
08.12.2016 | Institut für Solarenergieforschung GmbH

nachricht Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer IFAM

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>