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IADFCO
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Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 3:42 pm

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/airbus-fuel-cell-engine-rolls-royce-easyjet-engine-c2e-spc-intl/index.html

The French aviation giant revealed at Airbus Summit 2022 on November 30 that it will mount the engine between the wings and the tail of a modified A380 superjumbo. Test flights are estimated for 2026, as part of the Airbus ZEROe initiative to launch a zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

"At scale, and if the technology targets were achieved, fuel cell engines may be able to power a 100-passenger aircraft with a range of approximately 1,000 nautical miles," [Mathias Andriamisaina, head of ZEROe demonstrators and tests at Airbus] said.


I think that this is a far better and forward-looking approach than anything battery-powered. Green hydrogen is not here yet, at least at the desired cost, but I have no doubt that it will be in the not so distant future.
 
TheSonntag
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 3:59 pm

"I think that this is a far better and forward-looking approach than anything battery-powered. Green hydrogen is not here yet, at least at the desired cost, but I have no doubt that it will be in the not so distant future."

Short answer: It depends. For anything above 100 seats, absolutely, and therefore it is also a great idea to develop it. For GA and small 11 seaters, battery is more efficient.

The real challenge will be to set up a hydrogen supply chain at every airport. This is going to be expensive.
 
planecane
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 4:06 pm

IADFCO wrote:
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/airbus-fuel-cell-engine-rolls-royce-easyjet-engine-c2e-spc-intl/index.html

The French aviation giant revealed at Airbus Summit 2022 on November 30 that it will mount the engine between the wings and the tail of a modified A380 superjumbo. Test flights are estimated for 2026, as part of the Airbus ZEROe initiative to launch a zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

"At scale, and if the technology targets were achieved, fuel cell engines may be able to power a 100-passenger aircraft with a range of approximately 1,000 nautical miles," [Mathias Andriamisaina, head of ZEROe demonstrators and tests at Airbus] said.


I think that this is a far better and forward-looking approach than anything battery-powered. Green hydrogen is not here yet, at least at the desired cost, but I have no doubt that it will be in the not so distant future.


While much better than a battery approach, hydrogen still has enormous storage issues. For the drop in the bucket that civil aviation is with respect to fuel consumption it would make a lot more sense to me to just focus on SAF for combustion engines. Eventually personal vehicles will all be either battery electric or fuel cell electric. Trains (non direct electric) and trucks that carry heavy loads will likely be hydrogen fuel cell. It is a lot easier to deal with hydrogen storage on a ground based vehicle where weight isn't as critical (although it is somewhat critical for over the road trucks).

I'm confident that if "zero CO2" emissions is the goal for aviation, enough SAF can be produced to supply all of the need while I don't think it would be practical to create sustainable fuel for internal combustion engines and forget about the transition to electric vehicles because of the volume needed.

Hydrogen isn't even worth the storage and handling tradeoffs for rockets where every ounce of weight on the launch pad is critical. Neither SpaceX nor Blue Origin use hydrogen as fuel because the tradeoff isn't worth it.
 
planecane
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 4:08 pm

TheSonntag wrote:
"I think that this is a far better and forward-looking approach than anything battery-powered. Green hydrogen is not here yet, at least at the desired cost, but I have no doubt that it will be in the not so distant future."

Short answer: It depends. For anything above 100 seats, absolutely, and therefore it is also a great idea to develop it. For GA and small 11 seaters, battery is more efficient.

The real challenge will be to set up a hydrogen supply chain at every airport. This is going to be expensive.


The supply chain is the LEAST of the issues in dealing with hydrogen fueled aircraft. Storing it on board in a safe and weight and volume efficient manner is, BY FAR, the bigger issue.
 
lostsound
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 4:56 pm

IADFCO wrote:
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/airbus-fuel-cell-engine-rolls-royce-easyjet-engine-c2e-spc-intl/index.html

The French aviation giant revealed at Airbus Summit 2022 on November 30 that it will mount the engine between the wings and the tail of a modified A380 superjumbo. Test flights are estimated for 2026, as part of the Airbus ZEROe initiative to launch a zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

"At scale, and if the technology targets were achieved, fuel cell engines may be able to power a 100-passenger aircraft with a range of approximately 1,000 nautical miles," [Mathias Andriamisaina, head of ZEROe demonstrators and tests at Airbus] said.


I think that this is a far better and forward-looking approach than anything battery-powered. Green hydrogen is not here yet, at least at the desired cost, but I have no doubt that it will be in the not so distant future.


I think the optimism around hydrogen is a little heavy. Batteries that are lighter weight, denser, safer, and greener have a higher probability of being developed before we can cost-effectively separate hydrogen. Right now 98% of hydrogen is stripped from natural gas. Additionally, hydrogen wastes 3x more energy than battery electric and to separate it is a highly wasteful endeavor. Big heating and oil companies are behind the push for hydrogen in the bid to stay more relevant in the future and want it used everywhere but realistically it's best application is energy storage, ships (if you extract ammonia or methanol from hydrogen), long-haul and weather-intensive trucking, construction vehicles, and fertilizer. Volumetric wise the tanks required to carry enough hydrogen to do a LHR-JFK flight would have to take up the whole passenger cabin. Obviously battery power works for smaller aviation applications but for mid-haul and long-haul flights I'm not certain we've got a solid answer to what could reasonably replace jet fuel yet.
 
PvdE
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:16 pm

It is worth watching the Airbus Summit including the Q&A sessions. They explain how liquid hydrogen has more more energy per kilogram and how that compensates for weight of cryogenic storage tanks, the end result is similar to kerosene. The wings need to be a bit more to the back for center of gravity reasons. They converged on having two tanks at the rear end of the fuselage (so the idea of pods seems to be abandoned), and that is common between the FC and combustion concepts, also a common electrical architecture.

Also, look at how they are working to build the ecosystem including airports, regions etc. Options like generating hydrogen on-site where there is place, or transport via pipelines or transport. Testing storage, refueling etc. How they want to start small with hydrogen for airport equipment etc. Leveraging experience of Ariane.

Benefits of fuel cells, no just no CO2 but also no NOx, so environmentally the best option.

Their approach is to spend until 2028 developing all the new concepts, all the hard R&D, core new technologies, key word being "de-risking", then 7 years or so on developing the aircraft following a conventional path.

The wording of several presentations suggested they are on (or even ahead of) track, the staff is being super motivated to bring about one of the biggest changes in aircraft design in a century helping them.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:24 pm

"every journey starts with one small step"
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:25 pm

CNN is catching up on old news.

Airbus early this year announced it would use A380 testbed to trial different hydrogen-powered technologies including new engine design.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1470637
 
IADFCO
Topic Author
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Thu Dec 01, 2022 5:41 pm

PvdE wrote:
It is worth watching the Airbus Summit including the Q&A sessions.
[...]


Thanks for the heads up. Here is the link: https://www.airbus.com/en/airbus-summit
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Fri Dec 02, 2022 4:41 pm

There is an alternative pending. Solar cells that use atmospheric carbon and hydrogen to produce carbohydrates are in the offing. I suspect that the initial products will be experimentally proven by the end of this decade and then follow the standard S curve into production by 2040.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Fri Dec 02, 2022 9:46 pm

For the record, I am a huge fan of SAF.

planecane wrote:
TheSonntag wrote:
"I think that this is a far better and forward-looking approach than anything battery-powered. Green hydrogen is not here yet, at least at the desired cost, but I have no doubt that it will be in the not so distant future."

Short answer: It depends. For anything above 100 seats, absolutely, and therefore it is also a great idea to develop it. For GA and small 11 seaters, battery is more efficient.

The real challenge will be to set up a hydrogen supply chain at every airport. This is going to be expensive.


The supply chain is the LEAST of the issues in dealing with hydrogen fueled aircraft. Storing it on board in a safe and weight and volume efficient manner is, BY FAR, the bigger issue.

I agree on board storage is an issue, so is ground storage and transfer. I personally had hopes on a methane fuel cell for aircraft.

Lightsaber v
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:26 pm

This is not a place for making politically motivated statements. This is an aviation discussion. Keep it about aviation.

✈️ atcsundevil
 
Kilopond
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Sat Dec 03, 2022 10:32 pm

lostsound wrote:
[...]Batteries that are lighter weight, denser, safer, and greener have a higher probability of being developed before we can cost-effectively separate hydrogen.[...]


Sorry to say so, but this is completely wrong. Those overly heavy batteries/accumulators have not much improved during the last 150 years as far as energy density is concerned. The same applies to their lousy durability.

lightsaber wrote:
For the record, I am a huge fan of SAF.


Strangely, there is a very noisy and powerful lobby in Europe fighting against the idea of hydrocarbon synthesis. Maybe because the first generation of crop-based "bio-fuels" has been a blatant fraud. But it doesn`t help at all that successful demonstrators at Jülich, Zürich and other places have proven the innovative concept.

At the other side, in real life you got cars, lorries and trains running on hydrogen compressed to 350/700 bar. Weight-specific energy density is about three times higher than that of jet-fuel A or diesel.

https://ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth- ... inery.html
 
PvdE
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Tue Dec 06, 2022 8:59 pm

There is also a recent update by EMBRAER of their Energia concepts including a hydrogen one:

https://embraer.com/global/en/news?slug ... s-revealed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKTSGMFMb2k

Compared to their presentation last year, and to Airbus's recent ZEROe event, three noteworthy trends for hydrogen:

  • They still consider a smaller 19 seater model, but they've also gone up to size of 30 passengers. Indicates that the business case for smaller aircraft is problematic, customers want the larger size? Reminds me of Hart Aerospace that also moved up in size.
  • They don't rule out hydrogen combustion, but they've gone from four to two concepts and the hydrogen one is fuel cell based. Still stating that all options are open, but it looks as if NOx, contrails are potential showstoppers for products that want to position themselves are truly clean. Reminds me of the Airbus Summit ZEROe presentations.
  • Also like ZEROe, a target of 2035 as entry into service. Apart from technical challenges, this could be linked to infrastructure at airports, availability of green H2, which both Airbus and EMBRAER would need to be in place.

The second concept is SAF-hybrid. Less technically challenging, and could enter in service in 2030. They also have Eve for fully electric UAM.

The range proposed by EMBRAER for these concepts is much more modest than for Airbus. These will be much lighter planes. I think they look very nice.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Airbus developing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell engine

Tue Dec 06, 2022 10:53 pm

Kilopond wrote:
lostsound wrote:
[...]Batteries that are lighter weight, denser, safer, and greener have a higher probability of being developed before we can cost-effectively separate hydrogen.[...]


Sorry to say so, but this is completely wrong. Those overly heavy batteries/accumulators have not much improved during the last 150 years as far as energy density is concerned. The same applies to their lousy durability.

You're kidding, right? Specific Energy has gone from 25-40 Wh/kg for Lead-Acid Battery to 100-265 Wh/kg in Lithium-Ion Battery; that's a 2.5-10.6 times improvement. "not much improved" is not really the qualifier I'd use for such a difference.

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