HYCARUS - HYdrogenCells for AiRborne Usage - is an R&D project that aims to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen fuel cells to supply electrical power for auxiliary applications on board aircraft (galleys, lavatory, crew rest compartment, etc.).
Fuel cells are among the most promising technologies in current research for new energy solutions.
They offer scores of advantages: nonpolluting, efficient, safe and silent, fuel cells help reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while serving as a source of innovative solutions for aircraft manufacturers and airline companies. HYCARUS must meet one of the current concerns of European airlines and business jet operators looking for alternative energy sources with reduced environmental impact while anticipating future regulations on pollutant emissions.
The project is coordinated by Zodiac Aerospace and involves partners recognized as experts in their field such as Air Liquide, the CEA, Dassault Aviation, the main testing sites in Europe: the INTA, the JRC-IET and ARTTIC, an R&D consulting agency. All these partners will pool their knowledge to develop a high-performance fuel cell system.
As part of the HYCARUS project, Air Liquide's role is to develop high-pressure storage systems and supply of hydrogen gas onboard for the fuel cell. The system must be compatible with the special constraints imposed by an aeronautic environment: mass, lack of space, temperature, vibrations, etc. Under this project, Air Liquide is also responsible for a study of the various solutions for supplying hydrogen on the ground.
Pierre-Etienne Franc, Director of Air Liquide Advanced Business & Technologies Europe specified:
"This collaborative project in the aeronautics field will meet the need for research on alternative energy solutions in this sector. Hydrogen is an innovative alternative that will help preserve the environment by providing solutions for current concerns: reduction of greenhouse gasses and fuel consumption by airline companies."
The project is supported by the Fuel Cells Hydrogen & Joint Undertaking (FCHJU), a European public-private partnership that supports research, technological developments and undertakings in the hydrogen and fuel cells sector.