How to incorporate a Hydrogen fuel cell into an electric aircraft for Homebuilders?

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blane.c

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It is self evident that a aircraft relying principally upon electric powered motor(s) for sustained flight will benefit from auxiliary power in addition to batteries for flights of significant range.

I am posting this thread in hopes of gaining more insight and education regarding how hydrogen fuel cells can be used in this regard.

Thank you.
 

Aerowerx

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What is the weight of a hydrogen fuel cell, the hydrogen and container? How much power can be derived from the fuel cell, compared to the same weight of a IC engine and gasoline?
 

Vigilant1

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And then, cost of a fuel cell, hydrogen purity requirements, hydrogen availability, and hydrogen carbon cost (when produced with natural gas as the base stock).
Find an existing H2 fuel cell with appropriate output, get cost.
Dead end.
 

rv7charlie

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With truly 'cutting edge' tech, I usually approach it with the attitude that if I have to ask how to do it, I probably shouldn't be doing it. I see fuel cell stuff as a big 'not yet' thing. When they're common in cars, they'll almost certainly be *relatively* easy to transplant into a/c.
 

blane.c

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And then, cost of a fuel cell, hydrogen purity requirements, hydrogen availability, and hydrogen carbon cost (when produced with natural gas as the base stock).
Find an existing H2 fuel cell with appropriate output, get cost.
Dead end.
Irrelevant
 

blane.c

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With truly 'cutting edge' tech, I usually approach it with the attitude that if I have to ask how to do it, I probably shouldn't be doing it. I see fuel cell stuff as a big 'not yet' thing. When they're common in cars, they'll almost certainly be *relatively* easy to transplant into a/c.
Irrelevant
 

TMann

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"Hydrogen/Fuel Cell cars are only 10 years away" which is the quote used since the mid-80s.
Because a hydrogen molecule is so small, it can penetrate the steel in a high pressure tank. Add to that the problem of Hydrogen Embrittlement.
When you actually see it in a production auto then there can be some discussion about applying the technology to aircraft.
 

Vigilant1

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Here's an available commercial hydrogen fuel cell we could buy today. It is priced at a bit over $8k, and reportedly produces 1kw (so we could make almost 1.1 HP after conversion losses). Just 30 of them and we could power a MiniMax. Now, we just need to store some fuel....
Horizon XP PEM Fuel Cell – 1000W |
 

blane.c

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"Hydrogen/Fuel Cell cars are only 10 years away" which is the quote used since the mid-80s.
Because a hydrogen molecule is so small, it can penetrate the steel in a high pressure tank. Add to that the problem of Hydrogen Embrittlement.
When you actually see it in a production auto then there can be some discussion about applying the technology to aircraft.
Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell Vehicle | Hyundai USA
 

dog

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It is self evident that a aircraft relying principally upon electric powered motor(s) for sustained flight will benefit from auxiliary power in addition to batteries for flights of significant range.

I am posting this thread in hopes of gaining more insight and education regarding how hydrogen fuel cells can be used in this regard.

Thank you.
Hydogen fuel cells for aircraft use in a homebuilt are going to have to wait for a general improvement.
The main attraction of hydrogen fuel cells is that the conversion of fuel to energy is better than anything else.
So a number of limitations are currently keeping mass comercialization from happening.
1 no hydrogen,ok there are a gazzilion tons,varously locked up chemicaly,and mega
hydrogen plants are under construction now,
a hydolosis plant run from solar pv in the middle east,and a coal cracker in Australia.
Plus there are no hydrogen retail franchises.
2 Hindenburg
3 Suitable tankage.Which is bieng addressed
by a whole suite of composite solutions.
4 The actual fuel cells are made to order useing all kinds of wild and wonderfull exotic
and rare bits,pieces.Molten catalists made from $$$$$.Are finicky and prone to
bad behavior.Guessing but likely also encumbered by locked up patents.Guessing that those are about done.
5 Weight and crash worthyness, weight works
for cars now,as does crash testing.
And if crash standards are kept in line with what is alowed for gasoline then,ya.
6 most of the comming hydrogen production is earmarked for conversion to other chemicals,
amonia for fuel in ships and many uses in the chemical and plastics industrys.
So what we are waiting for is an all purpose
geni that is light enough to build into a small
plane.
 

Aesquire

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A decade ago I would have pointed out that Hydrogen fuel cells are normally operated by Astronauts. With Engineering degrees, and test pilot nerves & training. While an Apollo or Shuttle fuel cell never detonated one into smithereens in manned flight, a few test cells needed refurbishment to improve to insanely scary reliability levels, then years & million$ to get into the first cars.

Today you actually can BUY a fuel cell electric car. Haven't seen headlines about craters in highways or neighborhoods near the filling stations flattened by the explosion, so I think we can safely assume someone reasonably smart can operate a fuel cell vehicle with extensive computerized safety systems.

I still wouldn't trust a hydrogen dispenser nozzle in the hands of the people filling plastic bags with gasoline because they watched TV and are panicked about life.

The cyber blackmail of a fuel pipeline may indeed be cause for concern outside the scope of this forum, but for this discussion can be ignored.

Not sure I'd trust a hydrogen tank with someone who thinks it irrelevant if functional hardware exists either, so maybe I should just lie and tell the OP it's impossible? I'm cynical enough. ;)

But I'm dedicated to advancing knowledge, so...


How much it weighs with the computer? How much does a compressed hydrogen gas tank weigh per volume?

These are the initial questions you need answers to.

How big a battery you want to have for surge power for take off, climb, and go around? These questions are design/mission specific, and while important, are secondary details.

Then the deal breaker questions some ( insult redacted ) consider unimportant, like where to refill your tanks?

I know how to build a cascade system that fits in a minivan, and welding supply shops aren't that rare. So with enough money you're not tied to the rare automobile filling stations. Thus it's not that different than if you want to burn Methane in your airplane. Expensive, inconvenient, and requires minions to support. But technically possible.

If you're going to use car filling stations, then VTOL, folding Transformers "flying car" & super-villain levels of legal contempt might be needed.

I'm guessing the history of Hydrogen Economy theories are considered irrelevant.
 

TMann

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There is leading edge technology and then there is bleeding edge technology.
Go for it.
 

dog

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This web site is devoted to the hydrogen industry.Ads for hydrogen tanker trucks.
 
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