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

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WonderousMountain

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Tanks look to be Bias wound CFRP, presumably Carbon.

Attached below is supply sector on Hydrogen infrastructure. If
you are into steel structures, it's not great news. It's advanced
tech, & that applies to every step, which is I think the main cause
for energy investor allergy. You will need to generate hydrogen so
A highly distilled water source is needed, a converter sufficient for
a minimum of altitude maintenance, a formidable compressor and
Generally reliable pipe & electrical bus setup.

I wonder if there is a motorcycle/sled hybrid in the works somewhere?

Don't quote me,
CK LuPii
 

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blane.c

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You are right I shouldn't have Irrelevant you. I was to quick on the trigger regards negative responses.

Regarding your questions;

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?

Look under the mechanical tab. Hyundai Nexo - Features and Specifications | Hyundai USA The weight of the fuel and tank is listed and for the battery too as well as power from each as well. While not a complete answer it is a start.

So this is a setup for around 160hp total which is a realistic number for many airplanes and with about 70% of the power from the fuel cell. The fuel cell can be used for cruise and the battery would kick in for takeoff power. Additional fuel tanks can extend range. I am not sure how altitude effects the fuel cell, I mean obviously it is going to effect it because of both less oxygen at altitude and colder temperatures but will it effect it as much as an ICE engine? I expect it is going to be different from ICE in the particulars.

I expect that the weight would make a 172 or 182 sized airplane have the capacity for one or two occupants, maybe it'll be a little better maybe a bit worse.
 
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BJC

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These cars are similar enough to generalize that for $25k you can replace the ICE engine with a Fuel Cell.
Have you factored in the fact thst one has massive taxpayer support, and the other doesn’t?

Have you factored in the manufacturer’s pricing strategy to establish a market?


BJC
 

Voidhawk9

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I did some math on hydrogen fuel cells suitable for a small airliner recently.
It's a voluminous, heavy way to provide energy to an aircraft (weight of the hydrogen itself is almost small enough to ignore overall). But at a certain point it starts looking rather good in comparison to batteries, if you need long range.
I suspect we may indeed see them in use in the commercial world. But for light aircraft, I'm, skeptical. Battery tech will likely be hard to beat on the smaller scale, and if you need long range, ICE will remain the best option for a long, long time.
 

blane.c

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Nothing in the electric motor powered realm is going to compete with ICE as far as money and weight are concerned. Electric motor aircraft are being developed for other reasons. Some are currently being developed with hydrogen fuel cells. Yes they fly. Watch the recent NOVA program on the electric airplane if you want to see one.
 

BBerson

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Nothing in the electric motor powered realm is going to compete with ICE as far as money and weight are concerned. Electric motor aircraft are being developed for other reasons. Some are currently being developed with hydrogen fuel cells. Yes they fly. Watch the recent NOVA program on the electric airplane if you want to see one.
You may want to search for hydrogen reforming. Propane, ammonia and methanol and other liquid fuels store hydrogen in a small space.
It can be "reformed" into hydrogen as needed in the vehicle.
 

TMann

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What is ironic is most 'clean(er)' electricity is generated using natural gas (methane) and burning that to generate a/c power which can be used to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen or to charge batteries to power cars, planes, etc.
Why go through all of the conversions when all of the technology and infrastructure already exists to burn natural gas in the current collection of internal combustion engines (ICE.) Compressed natural gas can fulfill the desired result with less weight as well as other various downsides and is currently quite feasible.
 
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Aesquire

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Thorium reactors?
Those would be nice to make the hydrogen.

1000 times hype number, I call bs. Much safer, yes. All depends on the system.

Liquid salt reactors with fail safe dump freeze plug just shut down when the diesel generators get flooded by a tsunami, or a fuse blows, or... Shouldn't be capable of melt down, either. Pebble bed Reactors should be pretty safe, too.

The real advantage, and the reason they aren't popular, yet, is Thorium cycle chain reactions don't make Plutonium. There's a U-233 part of the cycle that isn't useful in Bombs either, and a small amount of U-235, but generally Thorium reactors are useless to make Orion Drive propulsion units. Aka fission bombs. That's why the more expensive and less efficient Uranium light water reactors were sponsored by governments, instead. Hopefully that accumulated stock of scary stuff gets used properly, diverting a species erasing asteroid, or powering space probes.

So, yea! Thorium!

But lighter doesn't mean portable. And even Thorium reactors are potential serious mess makers, if actually broken badly by the kind of things that make serious messes. For example, a LNG tanker hit by the sea skimmer from another thread. An oil refinery fire next door. A tsunami created by a comet strike. Congress.

Thus safer is legit, but nothing is risk free. Just ask... Nevermind. ;)
 

Vigilant1

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What is ironic is most 'clean(er)' electricity is generated using natural gas (methane) and burning that to generate a/c power which can be used to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen or to charge batteries to power cars, planes, etc.
Why go through all of the conversions when all of the technology and infrastructure already exists to burn natural gas in the current collection of internal combustion engines (ICE.) Compressed natural gas can fulfill the desired result with less weight as well as other various downsides and is currently quite feasible.
That would work. Or for true zero net greenhouse gas emissions, higher energy density, and no need for a pressure tank, use a liquid fuel (biobutanol, etc) that can burn in today's SI engines and which is made from carbon recently taken from the atmosphere (or a smokestack, turbine exhaust, etc).

As clean as a hydrogen fuel cell or batteries, much more practical in flight.

Compressed NG is more widely available now, and cheaper, than direct replacement liquid alternative fuels, though.
 
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Aesquire

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There is a safety issue with any compressed gas tanks. Primarily in busting the big valve off & becoming a rocket, and secondary gross damage in a crash.

There's a second layer of safety issues with flammable or oxygen tanks.

I don't think the issues are insurmountable, but the empty weight and supporting structure is most probably going up a lot. How much? I'm ignorant of composite tank weights? But you aren't going to use a simple light strap to suspend compressed gas tanks in a wing.

I'll ignore cryogenic Hydrogen storage because, Don't.

I'm not very worried about fire hazard, compared to gasoline. You won't stop safely and be in a pool of burning fuel. You might have a rocket spinning through your wing.

Re: weights.
I notice the 1000 Watt cell stack weighs 13 pounds. So you can make a pessimistic WAG at fuel cell weights.

Onboard chemical plants, as some ( experimental ) cars are testing, will convert a hydrocarbon fuel into Hydrogen gas and some no doubt pain in the Butt by products. I don't see that as a near term aircraft item. Get back to me in a decade. Making Hydrogen from hydrocarbon products is most likely the primary source in near term, as well, unless there's a massive build up of cheap electricity, which I don't see as likely, Opinion, ymmv.

Personally, I'd consider a Hydrogen fuel cell automobile, except there's no place anywhere near me to fill up.

My OPINION is in light planes fuel cells are likely to be possible as range extenders for electric planes. I'm skeptical on commercial success with current technology, but do expect some cool one-offs. I'll be very interested to see how others solve the problems.
 

Martin W

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It takes more energy to produce a gallon of hydrogen than you get out of the gallon of hydrogen.

A whole bunch of warm green lipstick will not change that fact.

.
 

Voidhawk9

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Liquid salt reactors with fail safe dump freeze plug just shut down when the diesel generators get flooded by a tsunami, or a fuse blows, or... Shouldn't be capable of melt down, either.
Given the fuel cycle is liquid in normal operation, I'd say that risk there is pretty low, yeah!
 

Sockmonkey

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The easiest and least expensive way to make a "green" plane is to run the ICE on propane, as the stuff burns cleanly enough to meet automotive emissions standards without any auxiliary gear. An insulated carbon-fiber tank would be light enough for a plane. It's less energy-dense than gasoline, but it's naturally high octane so you can get some of that power back if your engine has a high compression ratio. It comes pre-pressurized so you don't need a fuel pump.
 

dog

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There are fuel cells that run on gasoline and other fuels.

Production of hydrogen for fuel and other uses is expanding at huge rate.

So for aviation it is the same old juggle, weight, complexity, cost.

A hydrogen fuel cell plane could be assembled now. It would be heavy, slow, and expensive. A weight was given above of 13lbs/1000 watts, 20lbs/hp, electric, needs to be 3lbs/hp for the whole system to out compete, gasoline ICE.

Given that fuel cell development is solely in the hands of deep pocket industry, vs the development of ICE which was and is open source and in the hands of anyone with gumption, we are just spectators.
 
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henryk

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