Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 25. Auxiliary power

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 19, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week we discussed hydrogen aircraft propulsion and found a shaft power producing gas turbine was considerably more weight-efficient than a fuel cell powering an electric motor. Both had the same 55% shaft power efficiency.

Will a gas turbine APU burning H2 be the best choice for auxiliary power as well?

Figure 1. The Honeywell 131-9 APU for the Airbus A320. Source: Honeywell.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 24. Propulsion choice

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 12, 2021, ©. Leeham News: After covering the basics of fuel cells last week in our hydrogen airliner series, we now look at what type of system to choose for aircraft propulsion and onboard systems power.

We analyze the propulsion side this week.

Figure 1. A SAFRAN concept for a low emission airliner from its Clean Sky 2 presentation. Source: SAFRAN.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 23. Hydrogen fuel cells

By Bjorn Fehrm

February 5, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we started the discussion around fuel cells as a source of electric energy in airliners. We went through the principle and asked some vital questions.

Now we look at different types of fuel cells and for what applications these are suited.

Figure 1. The principle of a hydrogen fuel cell. Source: Airbus.

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Airbus, Boeing diverge on technology for next new airplane

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By Scott Hamilton

Introduction

Feb. 1, 2021, © Leeham News: Airbus and Boeing are diverging on paths for a sustainable, reduced emissions strategy for the next new airplanes.

The stakes are high: billions of dollars in sales, dramatic shifts protecting the environment and which company will be dominate for decades to come.

Source: Boeing

Airbus committed to bringing to market a zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered aircraft by the middle of the next decade. A dramatic shift in supporting infrastructure is needed to support innovating new technology.

Boeing is taking a more conservative approach, but one that won’t require costly changes to the infrastructure or major changes to airplane design. Instead, Boeing is betting on delivering airliners by 2030 that can use 100% sustainable fuels.

Summary

  • Boeing believes hydrogen technology is farther away than Airbus thinks.
  • Airbus wants a hydrogen-fueled airplane in service by 2035.
  • Boeing committed to a 100% sustainably-fueled airplane by 2030.
  • Who’s right is a multi-billion dollar bet.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 22. Hydrogen fuel cells

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 29, 2021, ©. Leeham News: Over the last weeks, we looked at Center of Gravity (CG) problems with rear fuselage liquid hydrogen tanks as used in Airbus’ ZEROe turbofan airliner concept. We can conclude that the CG shift is manageable for a short-range aircraft (range below 2,000nm).

Now we spend the next Corners diving into hydrogen fuel cell technology and how it can benefit a hydrogen-fueled airliner.

Figure 1, The principle of a hydrogen fuel cell. Source: Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 21. Hydrogen airliner weight shift

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 22, 2021, ©. Leeham News: In last week’s Corner, we looked at how the hydrogen consumed in the rear fuselage tanks changes the airliner’s Center of Gravity (CG).

Now we discuss how this change of Center of Gravity, limiting the aircraft’s load flexibility, can be mitigated with different concepts.

Figure 1. Airbus ZEROe turbofan airliner. Source: Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 20. Hydrogen airliner weight shift

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 15, 2021, ©. Leeham News: In last week’s Corner, we looked at how hydrogen consumed in the rear fuselage tanks of Airbus’ ZEROe concept affect the airliner’s efficiency.

Now we look at other aspects of the rear placement of the tanks.

Figure 1. Airbus ZEROe turbofan airliner. Source: Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 19. Hydrogen airliner weight shift

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 8, 2021, ©. Leeham News: In our Corner before Christmas we discussed the hydrogen tank placement at the rear of the aircraft for Airbus’ ZEROe concept turbofan aircraft.

We now calculate how the weight transfer when emptying the tanks in the rear affects the ZEROe’s efficiency.

 

Figure 1. Airbus ZEROe hydrogen turbofan airliner. Source: Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of hydrogen. Part 17. Hydrogen airliner program

By Bjorn Fehrm

December 11, 2020, ©. Leeham News: We use this Corner to define the time table for our hydrogen airliner program and for what areas we need to conduct risk-reducing research before we embark on an actual design.

As we said in last week’s Corner, we aim to develop a hydrogen airliner for the heart of the domestic market after the COVID-19 Pandemic. It’s a 160 to 180 seat single-aisle turbofan driven airliner, using liquid hydrogen as the fuel.

Figure 1. Airbus ZEROe hydrogen-fueled airliner concepts. Source: Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of Hydrogen. Part 16. A Hydrogen airliner

December 4, 2020, ©. Leeham News: To dig a level deeper into the challenges of hydrogen airliners, as a next step we design such a plane (on a high level), now that we have covered the basics.

It will make us traverse the fundamental design tradeoffs of such a design. Reflecting on what we discussed in Part 3, “The Application Space for a Hydrogen Airliner,” we focus on the single-aisle short-haul domestic market, Figure 1.

Figure 1. CO2 emissions per aircraft type and range flown. Source: EU Hydrogen Powered Aviation report.

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