Fuel cell megawatt system for aviation

BALIS Test field
© DLR
© DLR

Hot on the heels of the fuel cell-powered motor glider HY4, which was awarded a test flight permit in late 2020 (see cover story in H2-international, February 2021), another venture was given the green light at the beginning of this year. As part of the follow-up BALIS project, whose approval arrived in just six weeks, the four-seater HY4 aircraft is set to become a 40-seater. On Jan. 21, Steffen Bilger, parliamentary state secretary at the German transportation ministry, handed over EUR 26 million in funding to Josef Kallo from the German aerospace center DLR.

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HY4 gets Permit to Fly

Electric transportation

DLR, Josef Kallo, HY4, Andreas Scheuer, Schoefer, H2Fly, Winfried Hermann, FSG
Minister Hermann, Kallo and Schoefer (from left), © H2Fly

In August 2020, MTU entered into partnership with the German Aerospace Center – DLR, which has been conducting research into hydrogen technology for many years. The partners intend to develop and validate a fuel cell powertrain’s functionality for a Dornier 228 airplane with an electric MTU propeller engine providing over 500 kilowatts of power.

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DLR’s new leader

Portrait Prof. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla new Chairwoman of the DLR Executive Board
© DLR

One woman retires, another takes her place: On Oct. 1, 2020, Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, was appointed chairwoman of the German Aerospace Center, DLR. A materials scientist and engineer, she took over for Pascale Ehrenfreund, who had held the position since August 2015. Kaysser-Pyzalla said she is looking forward to “leading such a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary organization.” In addition to developing aviation and aerospace technology, the DLR focuses on research into energy, transportation, safety and security, and digitalization solutions. More than 9,000 people work for a total of 51 DLR institutes at 30 locations in Germany.

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New DLR institutes in northern Germany

The German government’s central research organization for aerospace technology, DLR, continues to expand its operations. It plans to build two new institutes, one to develop maritime energy systems and another to advance systems engineering in the transportation sector. On June 23, DLR’s oversight board gave the green light for both. At that time, the German parliament had already approved the economy ministry’s November 2019 request for EUR 22 million annually to build and run the new research facilities. Another EUR 2 million a year will come from the German states of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein.

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And what about e-fuels?

ifeu

How important synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, will be in a future energy system is a question many are hotly debating these days. The answer, of course, depends on whom you ask and whom they represent. To bring some facts to the table, energy institute ifeu recently conducted a study for German environment agency UBA to determine the amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants emitted by fuels produced through power-to-X.

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Next Energy as New DLR Location

The Next Energy research center has gone through uncertain times recently. Last November, the German government did make EUR 7 million per year available to fund the organization, but those millions would only be paid if Next were incorporated into the DLR, the German Aerospace Center. Its integration into the government’s main research organization on aerospace and energy technology, transportation and safety in basic and applied research is intended to save 120 jobs in Oldenburg, Germany

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Synergies Between Space Flight, Energy and Transportation

dlr-site-test-vulcain-2
Testing the Vulcain 2 at DLR site

The Institute of Space Propulsion of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Lampoldshausen is one of Europe‘s largest hydrogen consumers. The organization primarily uses cryogenic hydrogen to test the main and upper stage engines of Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket. The experiences made during those tests will now be expanded even further: Together with ZEAG Energie, the DLR is planning to implement a regenerative hydrogen process chain. It creates the required hydrogen in a 1 MW PEM electrolysis system, which draws its power from the neighboring wind farm Harthäuser Wald

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Launch of Emission-Free Passenger Aircraft Hy4

DLR_HY4_web
Hy4, © DLR

A unique aircraft with a distinctive design and innovative engine technology – that is how one could sum up the features of the Hy4, which the German Aerospace Center (DLR) had already showcased at the World of Energy Solutions on Oct. 12, 2015. The new concept study was presented by project head Professor Josef Kallo, who had already been responsible for developing its predecessor.

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