Honeywell and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have joined forces in support of new hydrogen fuel storage solutions.
Under terms of a year-long effort the duo will specifically focus on the commercialisation of cartage-based hydrogen fuel storage solution for uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Additionally, the partnership will look to prove that hydrogen can help address long-range and heavy-payload concerns.
The effort will be part of the “Fuel Additives for Solid Hydrogen (FLASH) Carriers in Electric Aviation” project that looks to mature new hydrogen carrier technology.
Specifically, the FLASH project is focused on a solid material that can rapidly release hydrogen gas for use by the fuel cell. The material has a high hydrogen capacity and can operate at low temperatures.
Katherine Hurst, Senior Scientist and Group Manager of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), described the effort as an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the performance of hydrogen storage materials.
She added, “Today’s long-range are typically powered by internal combustion engines. While they provide the required range that battery -powered electric UAVs lack, these engines have issues with excessive noise, vibration, and emissions, including carbon emissions.”
To qualify for the project, Honeywell will provide technological expertise, testing for fuel cartridge technology, supply chain support, prototyping, and fuel cell evaluation.
Dave Shilliday, Vice-President and General Manager of Urban Air Mobility and Uncrewed Aerial Systems at Honeywell Aerospace, notes that using hydrogen as a power source can significantly expand the possibilities of UAVs beyond the limitations of battery-electric powertrains.
He added, “Honeywell will work with NREL to develop the necessary hydrogen-related technology to contribute to the further growth of the industry.”
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