An innovative design that hydrogenates regional aircraft

A startup in the field of hydrogen fuels has unveiled a plan that could help regional aircraft use hydrogen fuel faster. An innovative design that hydrogenates regional aircraft

A startup in the field of hydrogen fuels has unveiled a plan that could help regional aircraft use hydrogen fuel faster.

Universal Hydrogen, a California-based startup, was co-founded by Paul Eremenko, former Airbus chief technology officer, to launch a regional commercial aircraft into hydrogen fuel. The need to use hydrogen fuel

The company says the proposed commercial model could be proposed before aircraft companies can build new aircraft with hydrogen propulsion systems as a standard system. Encourage airlines to adapt their aircraft to hydrogen fuels sooner and move towards neutral carbon aircraft. Governments have already turned their attention to hydrogen fuel for the sustainable development of the industry. The European Union, for example, unveiled a plan a few months ago called the Hydrogen Strategy.

In the view of Armenko et al., Hydrogen is the only clear path for the aviation industry to achieve real carbon degradation, and now the complex infrastructure The main obstacle is its widespread use.

Universal Hydrogen, established seven months ago, recently unveiled a plan to refuel the Dash 8 and ATR 42 regional aircraft engines with electric fuel cell propulsion and rechargeable hydrogen modules. Is. These modules are transmitted directly from the hydrogen production facility to the aircraft. The company will pay for all or part of the cost of the conversion kit for the new propulsion system in exchange for long-term hydrogen supply contracts for the aircraft.

Refueling process

According to Armenco, hydrogen supply in the same way At present, refueling aircraft through ships, pipelines and fuel trucks is costly. "Infrastructure is the main problem, and the solution we are building is an economically viable approach to delivering hydrogen to any airport in the world," he said.

"Universal Hydrogen"'s solution is to: Fuel should be treated as a dry load and a safe and efficient way to deliver hydrogen fuel to airlines should be considered. The company's modules, measuring about 2 meters by 90 centimeters, can carry hydrogen as liquefied or compressed gas to be loaded onto the back of the aircraft via standard loading equipment or forklifts. An innovative design that hydrogenates regional aircraft

The process of transferring hydrogen fuel from the factory to the aircraft
Credit: Universal Hydrogen

Equipment for hydrogen combustion of aircraft

Hydrogen modules in the rear of the aircraft It is loaded and placed in a compartment that replaces the last two rows of seats. This reduces the capacity of the aircraft from about 50 to 40 passengers, but Universal Hydrogen says that the cost of flying each seat will remain constant over a certain distance.

Fuel piping of the modules, to power the propellers through the fuselage The wings have been shown solely to give a sense of proportion. Fuel cells and electric motors are installed in both compartments. Hydrogen modules are essentially replacing batteries in all-electric propulsion systems. On September 15, MagniX, one of the leading companies in the power industry, announced plans to build a pair. The 2-megawatt electric propulsion system for the hydrogen fuel conversion kit will work with Universal Hydrogen.

The Washington-based company is currently working to develop electric versions of the Twin Otter and Beaver aircraft of De Havilland Canada. Give. Canadian regional airline Harbor Air plans to replace its fleet with Beaver electric models. Universal Hydrogen says the extra weight of the fuel modules will be offset by the removal of two rows of seats and body changes. It will not increase the maximum take-off weight of the aircraft.

Obtaining certification

As part of the process of supplementing the aircraft to convert its propulsion system, the company must undergo crash, explosion and evacuation tests. On the modules. However, extensive experiments by NASA in the automotive industry have shown that gasoline is much more explosive than hydrogen. Hydrogen burns rapidly and rises from the point of ignition instead of engaging the car.

The Universal Hydrogen Business Plan states that the company will be certified for acceptable conversion in maintenance, maintenance and The aircraft will undergo major repairs. This usually happens during major aircraft repair operations. The company estimates that there are more than 2,200 passenger aircraft in the region suitable for conversion worldwide.

While Universal Hydrogen believes it can convert the first convertible aircraft into commercial services before the end of 2024. But in the long run, the company seeks to partner with aircraft manufacturers to supply hydrogen propulsion systems for their new aircraft. "Towards the end of 2020, Boeing, Airbus and Comac will decide on their new single-aisle aircraft, and it is possible that these aircraft will be equipped with hydrogen fuel," Armenko said.

He worked for Airbus from 2015 to 2018, emphasizing that the reason for the establishment of "Universal Hydrogen" was that it did not see major progress in the field of pioneering hydrogen technologies by large aerospace companies.

However, since late last year, Airbus has He has increasingly shown a willingness to use hydrogen propulsion, which he can draw on from his experiments with electric perpendicular airplanes based on his battery. Boeing also published its annual environmental report in recent months, emphasizing carbon-neutralization more than any other year.

Liquid hydrogen capacity is expanding rapidly around the world And manufacturers produce fuel through the process of electrolysis, which separates hydrogen and oxygen from water. However, in addition to traditional hydrogen production methods, other companies have used innovative methods to produce hydrogen and are increasingly moving towards a carbon-free industry.

  • A project that will turn wastewater into future fuel Cover photo: Installing a hydrogen fuel tank on a Dash 8

    Credit: Universal Hydrogen

    Source: AIN Online

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