In order to meet the increasing pressure to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, airlines are seeking alternative sources to power non-propulsive aircraft systems. The next generation of aircraft is heavily investigating the use of non-fossil fuel to generate electrical power for non-essential applications (NEA). Hydrogen fuel cells are actively being pursued as the most promising means of providing this power. Fuel cells also have the added benefits of no pollution, better efficiency than conventional systems, silent operating mode and low maintenance. The by-products from the fuel cells (heat, water and oxygen depleted air) will also have a positive impact on the global aircraft efficiency when they are harnessed and reused within the aircraft system.
The HYCARUS project will design a generic PEM fuel cell system compatible of two NEA, then develop, test and demonstrate it against TRL6. A secondary electrical power generation model for a business executive jet will be run. The application will be tested with the fuel cell system and the storage system under flying conditions. Furthermore, investigations will be made to understand how to capture and reuse the by-products.
The HYCARUS project will extend the work already completed in the automotive sector, particularly for safety codes and standards, and develop these for use in airborne installation and applications. Improvements in terms of efficiency, reliability, performance, weight /volume ratio, safety, cost and lifetime under flight conditions at altitude and under low ambient temperatures (mainly in the air) will also be examined.
The HYCARUS project also aims to foster a better and stronger cooperation between all the agents of the sector: Aeronautics equipment and systems manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, system integrators and fuel cell technology suppliers.
Periodic Report Summary 1 - HYCARUS (HYdrogen cells for AiRborne Usage)
Project Context and Objectives: Launched in May 2013, HYCARUS (HYdrogen Cells for AiRborne Usage) is a European collaborative project partially supported by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), an initiative of the European Union driven by the joint...
Project Context and Objectives:
Launched in May 2013, HYCARUS (HYdrogen Cells for AiRborne Usage) is a European collaborative project partially supported by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), an initiative of the European Union driven by the joint cooperation of European public research centers and private industries actively engaged in the investigation of the fuel cells usage. The project aims to demonstrate how promising hydrogen-air Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system technologies are in non-essential aircraft applications.
The HYCARUS consortium is composed of 10 partners from 6 European countries:
• Europe's leading system integrator – Zodiac Aerospace (FR, DE, NL, CZ);
• Fuel cell research organization – CEA (FR);
• World leader aircraft manufacturer – Dassault Aviation (FR);
• World leader in industrial gases – Air Liquide (FR),
• Europe’s leading test facility organizations – INTA (ES) & JRC-IET (BE) and
• Europe leader in collaborative R&D consultancy – ARTTIC (FR).
The main objectives of the project are to design a Generic Fuel Cell System (GFCS) aiming to power non-essential aircraft applications such as galleys, lavatory or crew rest compartment in commercial aircrafts, or to be used as a precursor for the secondary power source on-board a business jet, and test the GFCS in a representative environment at TRL6 level. Finally, HYCARUS should also assess and exploit the by-products in different airborne applications - galleys, lavatories, warmers, chillers or inerting functions such as fuel tank.
Since the beginning of the project, the HYCARUS consortium was intensively searching for a suitable partner to perform the Flight Tests. The negotiations led to a very successful end and Dassault-Aviation, one of the HYCARUS beneficiary, is now in charge of conducting the Flight Test campaign. A Falcon test aircraft will be used to perform this campaign, and hence all the activities pertaining to the flight demonstration (design, installation and operation of the demonstrator) are constrained by the characteristics of this aircraft.
Further to this, HYCARUS successfully accomplished a number of tasks including in particular completion of specifications and sizing of the GFCS and a complete top-down safety analysis (WP1). Preliminary designs of various systems and components necessary for the GFCS integration were completed, such as:
• the membrane electrode assembly and the fuel cell stack (WP2)
• the battery system (WP4)
• the GFCS components (WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5)
The project will now build on the first results to demonstrate the GFCS in a representative environment, in accordance with the TRL6 level. The consortium started with the preparations for the Permit to Fly with the aim to achieve the GFCS aircraft integration in 2015 and the flight-tests in 2016.
The GFCS is a demonstrator which will serve as a precursor for the systems that will be mounted as secondary power sources on-board business jets; but the fuel cell systems of this type are also designed to supply cabin interiors, such as galleys, lavatory or crew rest compartment in a large commercial aircraft. These applications / technologies will contribute to reducing aircraft fuel consumption and green-house gas emissions and offer innovative services to aircraft manufacturers, airliners and business jet operators.
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