LH2 Storage

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Development of a liquid hydrogen storage system for supplying fuel cell systems in aircraft of the future

Project Funding:
Austrian national programm “Takeoff”
Project coordin­ator:
MAGNA STEYR Fahrzeugtechnik  AG & Co KG; Space Technology 
Project Partners:
Aerospace and Advance Composites GmbH,
Airbus Deutschland GmbH (D)

A large European aircraft manu­fac­turer is placing its hopes in fuel cells for the devel­op­ment of the next aircraft gener­a­tion. This is
expec­ted to offer the follow­ing advant­ages for civil aviation:

  • Reduction in fuel consumption
  • Low-emis­sion oper­a­tion of aircraft during flight and, partic­u­larly, on the ground
  • Reduction in the purchase and oper­at­ing costs
  • Introduction of new sustained, envir­on­ment­ally friend­lier and more cost-effect­ive tech­no­logy in civil aviation

The Austrian project part­ner is a lead­ing company in the area of liquid hydro­gen stor­age. As a devel­op­ment part­ner, it is there­fore seek­ing to under­take the devel­op­ment and veri­fic­a­tion of a liquid hydro­gen system for supply­ing fuel cells. The goal of the current project is the defin­i­tion and devel­op­ment of a suit­able light­weight stor­age system for use in aircraft using fibre bundle tech­no­logy. The project also envis­ages the construc­tion of a test sample for the veri­fic­a­tion of the subsys­tem func­tion, followed by integ­ra­tion in the over­all system. This repres­ents the basis for further devel­op­ment up to the level of a certi­fi­able liquid hydro­gen stor­age system for use in aviation. With this stor­age system, the func­tional require­ments of the over­all system will be tested up to a tech­no­logy read­i­ness level (TRL) of six and eval­u­ated in accord­ance with the specific­a­tions. The common goal of the consor­tium is to expand its tech­no­lo­gical lead­er­ship in this area over the long-term. This will be based on the concept of innov­at­ive, complex, elec­trical aircraft system archi­tec­tures. In this German-Austrian project, the tech­no­logy required for future aircraft programmes will be developed. Applications can be expec­ted in future Airbus products. With the respons­ib­il­ity for system integ­ra­tion in the hands of Airbus, all prerequis­ites for making use of and market­ing this new tech­no­logy in terms of a mass-produced aero­naut­ics product are ensured.