• Universal Hydrogen to convert 15-plus airliners to run on H2 pods

    From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jul 20 13:09:18 2021

    Universal Hydrogen to convert 15-plus airliners to run on H2 pods

    By Loz Blain
    July 19, 2021

    Universal Hydrogen is building interchangeable hydrogen pods for fuel-cell airliners, and has signed deals with three airlines to convert 21 aircraft
    to hydrogen-electric
    Universal Hydrogen is building interchangeable hydrogen pods for fuel-cell airliners, and has signed deals with three airlines to convert 21 aircraft
    to hydrogen-electricUniversal Hydrogen

    Universal Hydrogen has signed letters of intent with three airlines to
    convert more than 15 regional airliners to run on green hydrogen. The
    company is developing conversion kits that accept interchangeable hydrogen modules that work like recyclable coffee pods.

    The aircraft in question will be De Havilland Canada DHC8-Q300, or Dash-8. Universal Hydrogen has been working on a Dash-8 kit for some time now https://newatlas.com/aircraft/universal-hydrogen-magnix-largest-hydrogen-plane/?itm_source=newatlas&itm_medium=article-body
    , replacing the standard plane's Pratt & Whitney turboprops and jet fuel
    tanks with a pair of two-megawatt Magnix electric motors, a hefty fuel cell
    and a modular hydrogen fuel system whose tanks pop in and out like great big seven-foot (2 m) long Nespresso pods. That's a comparison the company seems keep to push, as evidenced by this recent Reuters interview. https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/exclusive-universal-hydrogen-zero-carbon-plane-deals-with-icelandair-others-2021-07-13/

    The hydrogen conversion takes up some space – the Dash-8's cabin shrinks
    from 56 seats to 40 – but these planes will offer a groundbreaking emissions-free travel service up to range figures around 460 miles (740 km). That covers about 75 percent of current routes flown by Dash-8s, says Universal, and they could extend that to 95 percent when they get liquid hydrogen figured out.

    The company has signed letters of intent with Spain's Air Nostrum for 11 aircraft https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210714005532/en/Universal-Hydrogen-and-Air-Nostrum-Sign-LOI-for-Hydrogen-Powered-Turboprops
    , Ravn Alaska for 5 aircraft https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210714005543/en/Universal-Hydrogen-and-Ravn-Alaska-Sign-LOI-for-Hydrogen-Powered-Dash-8s-as-Airline-Expands-Efforts-Towards-Carbon-Free-Aircraft-Network
    , and Icelandair Group https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210714005516/en/Universal-Hydrogen-and-Icelandair-Group-Sign-LOI-for-Hydrogen-Powered-Dash-8-Fleet-to-Eliminate-Carbon-Emissions
    for an unspecified "fleet" of planes. All these deals would also establish Universal as the hydrogen pod service provider.

    A De Havilland Canada DCH-8 (Dash-8) Q300 like the aircraft above will be retrofitted with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain to become the world's
    largest hydrogen aircraft
    A De Havilland Canada DCH-8 (Dash-8) Q300 like the aircraft above will be retrofitted with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain to become the world's
    largest hydrogen aircraftBiggerben @ Wikimedia Commons
    No terms for the deals have been announced, and while this does seem like
    good news for clean aviation, evtol.com has found some reasons to pump the brakes on the hype train here. LOIs are preliminary, non-binding and often highly provisional.

    And one of the companies involved, Ravn Alaska, is only a year out of bankruptcy, and its new owners have also signed a LOI for 50 electric STOL aircraft from Airflow, and told employees in a leaked briefing that it was
    also planning to run a low-cost carrier using Boeing 757s. Ambition clearly isn't a problem here, but delivering on all these plans will require
    enormous funds.

    Still, if these plans come to fruition, and Universal does manage to "bring hydrogen-powered Dash-8s to our skies in the next several years," as
    Icelandair President and CEO Nils Bogason hopes, it would certainly seem
    like an inflection point in this very exciting new technology, and there
    will certainly be passengers ready to choose a greener option.

    Source: Universal Hydroge: https://www.hydrogen.aero/ ===================================================


    Hydrogen Storage
    Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office
    Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Hydrogen Storage
    The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) is developing onboard automotive hydrogen storage systems that allow for a driving range of more
    than 300 miles while meeting cost, safety, and performance requirements.

    Why Study Hydrogen Storage
    Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the advancement of
    hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in applications including stationary
    power, portable power, and transportation. Hydrogen has the highest energy
    per mass of any fuel; however, its low ambient temperature density results
    in a low energy per unit volume, therefore requiring the development of advanced storage methods that have potential for higher energy density.

    How Hydrogen Storage Works

    Hydrogen can be stored physically as either a gas or a liquid. Storage of hydrogen as a gas typically requires high-pressure tanks (350–700 bar [5,000–10,000 psi] tank pressure). Storage of hydrogen as a liquid requires cryogenic temperatures because the boiling point of hydrogen at one
    atmosphere pressure is -252.8°C. Hydrogen can also be stored on the surfaces
    of solids (by adsorption) or within solids (by absorption).

    Research and Development Goals
    HFTO conducts research and development activities to advance hydrogen
    storage systems technology and develop novel hydrogen storage materials. The goal is to provide adequate hydrogen storage to meet the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) hydrogen storage targets for onboard light-duty vehicle, material-handling equipment, and portable power applications. By 2020, HFTO aims to develop and verify onboard automotive hydrogen storage systems achieving targets that will allow hydrogen-fueled vehicle platforms to meet customer performance expectations for range, passenger and cargo space, refueling time, and overall vehicle performance. Specific system targets include the following:

    1.5 kWh/kg system (4.5 wt.% hydrogen)
    1.0 kWh/L system (0.030 kg hydrogen/L)
    $10/kWh ($333/kg stored hydrogen capacity).
    The collaborative Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence conducts analysis activities to determine the current status of materials-based
    storage system technologies.

    The Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC) conducts foundational research to understand the interaction of hydrogen with
    materials in relation to the formation and release of hydrogen from hydrogen storage materials.

    Related links provide details about DOE-funded hydrogen storage activities.


    The 2010 U.S. light-duty vehicle sales distribution by driving range.

    Comparison of specific energy (energy per mass or gravimetric density) and energy density (energy per volume or volumetric density) for several fuels based on lower heating values.

    High density hydrogen storage is a challenge for stationary and portable applications and remains a significant challenge for transportation applications. Presently available storage options typically require large-volume systems that store hydrogen in gaseous form. This is less of an issue for stationary applications, where the footprint of compressed gas
    tanks may be less critical.

    However, fuel-cell-powered vehicles require enough hydrogen to provide a driving range of more than 300 miles with the ability to quickly and easily refuel the vehicle. While some light-duty hydrogen fuel cell electric
    vehicles (FCEVs) that are capable of this range have emerged onto the
    market, these vehicles will rely on compressed gas onboard storage using large-volume, high-pressure composite vessels. The required large storage volumes may have less impact for larger vehicles, but providing sufficient hydrogen storage across all light-duty platforms remains a challenge. The importance of the 300-mile-range goal can be appreciated by looking at the sales distribution by range chart on this page, which shows that most
    vehicles sold today are capable of exceeding this minimum.

    On a mass basis, hydrogen has nearly three times the energy content of gasoline—120 MJ/kg for hydrogen versus 44 MJ/kg for gasoline. On a volume basis, however, the situation is reversed; liquid hydrogen has a density of
    8 MJ/L whereas gasoline has a density of 32 MJ/L, as shown in the figure comparing energy densities of fuels based on lower heating values. Onboard hydrogen storage capacities of 5–13 kg hydrogen will be required to meet the driving range for the full range of light-duty vehicle platforms.

    To overcome these challenges HFTO is pursuing two strategic pathways,
    targeting both near-term and long-term solutions. The near-term pathway
    focuses on compressed gas storage, using advanced pressure vessels made of fiber reinforced composites that are capable of reaching 700 bar pressure,
    with a major emphasis on system cost reduction. The long-term pathway
    focuses on both (1) cold or cryo-compressed hydrogen storage, where
    increased hydrogen density and insulated pressure vessels may allow for DOE targets to be met and (2) materials-based hydrogen storage technologies, including sorbents, chemical hydrogen storage materials, and metal hydrides, with properties having potential to meet DOE hydrogen storage targets.

    Hydrogen Storage Materials Database
    HFTO hosts the Hydrogen Storage Materials Database to support the
    advancement of hydrogen storage materials research and development.

    Hydrogen Storage Technical Targets
    Download the Hydrogen Storage section of HFTO's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan for full details about technical
    targets, or view individual target tables for:

    Automotive applications
    Material handling applications
    Portable power applications
    Related Federal Activities
    ARPA-E MOVE (Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy)

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