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 Researchers pave the way for ionotronic nanodevices
23.02.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor
22.02.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>