NASA hopes to develop low-temperature hydrogen energy pure electric aircraft

by:CTECHi     2021-09-23
The University of Illinois has just announced that NASA is promoting a low-temperature hydrogen fuel cell system project to provide power support for pure electric aircraft. The contract is worth 6 million U.S. dollars, and the school’s Aircraft Low Temperature and Efficient Electrical Technology Center (CHEETA) will have about three years to develop solutions that meet expectations (to replace traditional fossil fuel-based propulsion system technology). Although various types of jet engines have completely changed air travel. However, with the decline in profit margins of aviation companies and the awakening of the public's environmental and ecological awareness, electric propulsion has become a powerful candidate. It is reported that the CHEETA project team brings together eight members, including Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Research and Technology, General Electric Global Research, Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Arkansas, University of Dayton Research Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute College. Although the project is still in the conceptual stage, the researchers still have an optimistic and firm vision of its technological potential. Phillip Ansell, Assistant Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lead researcher Phillip Ansell said: 'The focus of the project is to develop a pure electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage solution.' It uses a series of fuel cell methods as energy storage and then drives an ultra-efficient electric propulsion system. In addition, low temperature requirements also provide opportunities to use superconducting (or lossless) energy transmission and high-power motor systems. Ansell further explained: 'Its working method is a bit similar to MRI, but these necessary electric drive systems do not exist.' The method of integrating electric propulsion technology into the aircraft platform has not yet been effectively established. The new project aims to solve this problem and lay the foundation for the realization of pure electric aircraft in the future. However, the team pointed out that although some progress has been made, there are still many basic problems that need to be overcome before the cryogenic hydrogen-powered pure electric aircraft can soar in the sky. Kiruba Haran, associate professor of the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, said: As a 'Holy Grail' in the industry, practical cryogenic systems have unparalleled power density and efficiency, and the partnership established for this new project allows them to follow Go on this path and solve a series of major technical challenges encountered during the period.
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