GE and Zero Avia are successfully testing a hydrogen-powered jet engine. Both companies have stated that the performance of their engines is far better than they expected, and that the hydrogen powertrain is expected to be less expensive than traditional jet fuel. The test results provided insight into the possibilities of hydrogen blending.
GE’s hydrogen-powered jet engine is performing better than expected
GE’s hydrogen-powered jet engine is performing better than expected, according to executives at GE Aviation. The company expects to complete its Extended Operations (ETOPS) testing in the first half of 2022. In the meantime, GE is partnering with other industry leaders to develop alternative fuels. It’s working on new engine core designs and advanced engine architectures. It’s calling for the energy sector to speed up decarbonization.
The company is also working with Energy Australia on a dual-fuel power plant in Australia. In addition, it is collaborating with New Fortress Energy’s Zero division to develop the first trailer-mounted aeroderivative gas turbine in the US. It plans to install the unit in 2021.
GE plans to conduct multiple ground and flight tests over the next decade. These tests will test the combustor core design and high-pressure turbine core design. The results of these tests will determine if GE has a commercial offering. Other industry partners will also provide advice on the technology’s feasibility in the real world.
GE has more than eight million operating hours with hydrogen fuel blends and aeroderivative engines. The company also has more than 60 years of gas turbine experience. As it continues to develop hydrogen fuel technologies, GE will also support alternative fuel research.
The company will also work with its partner Airbus to develop a hydrogen demonstration program for aircraft. The program will involve a modified Passport engine running on hydrogen. The engine is expected to be used in commercial aircraft in 2035. The A380, which is being built by Airbus, will serve as the testbed for the demonstration. The test will feature four 100kg liquid hydrogen tanks mounted to the rear of the fuselage.
GE is also collaborating with New Fortress Energy to develop a hydrogen-fueling plant. In addition, it’s partnering with Long Ridge Energy Terminal in Ohio. The company plans to install a trailer-mounted aeroderivative gas-turbine in September 2021. The plant will operate on hydrogen and natural gas. It will also test a new fuel system with a 20-kW fuel cell.
GE will also test a number of heat-resistant materials. It’s also working with Georgia Tech to provide aviation simulation expertise.
LCRI’s hydrogen blending demonstration provides insight
LCRI’s hydrogen blending demonstration is providing insight into Rolls-Royce’s hydrogen-powered jet engine. This demonstration is a key part of LCRI’s efforts to accelerate the development of low-carbon technologies and the sustainable energy future. In addition, it plays an important role in the ongoing stakeholder discussions.
The hydrogen blending demonstration is one of the first utility-scale hydrogen blending projects in the U.S. The project’s results will have a profound impact on New York and beyond. The LCRI will work with stakeholders to identify solutions to reduce carbon emissions. Ultimately, the project will help companies achieve their ambitious decarbonization goals by 2050.
The LCRI is a nonprofit that is devoted to accelerating the development of low-carbon technologies. Specifically, the organization is interested in hydrogen blending and fuel combustion. LCRI’s hydrogen blending demonstration will serve as an important catalyst in these stakeholder discussions. Moreover, the project will help to fill in gaps in foundational knowledge.
The hydrogen blending demonstration was a result of a project commissioned by the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The NYPA was looking for a pilot project to demonstrate the feasibility of blending hydrogen with natural gas to reduce CO2 emissions. It was the first time the HA-class machine was run on hydrogen.
The project was also conducted in collaboration with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan. The NEDO is the national research and development agency. In addition, the project was conducted with a full turnkey service from Mitsubishi Power. The project included a water-injected combustor, selective catalytic reduction, post-combustion aftertreatment, and instrumentation.
The project involved multiple design teams that worked at various speeds. As a result, there were some design challenges. However, the collaborative design approach helped overcome these challenges. This project also provided insight into the benefits of early collaboration.
The results of the project showed that the LM6000 SAC gas turbine was able to co-fire hydrogen with natural gas. This resulted in a reduction of CO2 mass emission rates by 34 percent at 47 megawatts (MW). In addition, the hydrogen-natural gas blend was validated with 20% hydrogen fuel, which provided a 7% reduction in carbon emissions. The project also demonstrated that hydrogen combustion could be a component of a retrofit at an existing U.S. natural gas power plant.
Biofuels vs hydrogen-powered jet engines
During the easyJet conference in September, Rolls-Royce successfully tested its AE 2100 jet engine running on sustainable aviation fuel. The engine is powered by green hydrogen produced at the European Marine Energy Centre in the Orkney Islands of Scotland.
Electrification is emerging as a propulsion option in smaller aircraft and will soon become a hybrid mode in larger aircraft. The fuels available in the future will need to match the same energy density as fossil kerosene. Hydrogen is a renewable fuel that can be produced from various sources and may become widespread in the aviation sector.
The aviation industry is investing in hydrogen R&D more than ever, and new technologies have reduced aviation’s environmental impacts. The hydrogen fuel research will help the aviation industry grow and will cut emissions dramatically. However, hydrogen fuel will not be ready for commercial aviation until 15 to 25 years from now.
Today, alternative fuels such as biofuels are available, and have made significant progress in the past twenty years. They can lower CO2 emissions by 20 to 98%. In 2011, 50% biofuel blends were allowed in commercial flights. These fuels are produced from plants, and do not contain paraffin-based additives.
As the aviation industry becomes increasingly aware of the effects of climate change, new technologies and fuels have become essential to reduce emissions. The industry is investing more in hydrogen R&D and has already flown close to 300,000 flights on sustainable aviation fuel.
The Airbus Zeroed program is working on a zero-emission hydrogen commercial aircraft concept. The aircraft will include a turbofan and a blended wing body. The aircraft could enter service by 2023. It’s a big bet, and many in the industry are skeptical. However, it’s not hard to imagine the industry making some big bets on unproven technology.
The European Commission commissioned a study to explore the concept design of a hydrogen aircraft. The study adopted a minimal change approach to the design and found that energy consumption would increase by 10% over a kerosene aircraft. However, this was only an estimate. It’s still early days, and there are many changes to the aircraft’s design and fuel supply chain required.
Zero Avia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain is projected to have lower operating costs than jet-fueled aircraft
Founded in 2013, Zero Avia is an innovator in zero-emission aircraft. It’s developing hydrogen-powered engine technology for commercial aviation. The company’s goal is to replace fossil fuels as the primary energy source for aircraft. This will help to make flying more sustainable.
Zero Avia has signed partnerships with several companies to help the company develop its hydrogen-electric powertrain. It plans to have a 2-4 MW powertrain in a 40-80 seat aircraft by 2026. It will have the same range as standard turboprop engines and operate at lower operating costs.
Zero Avia’s prototype aircraft has been completed and is currently in use at its research and development center in Cranfield, England. It recently announced a $30 million investment to support its 2-5MW powertrain development. It plans to begin flight testing the powertrain within weeks. The company is also working on a larger aircraft with a 2,000-kilowatt powertrain, which will be manufactured and tested for demonstrations in 2022.
Zero Avia plans to launch its products in the U.S. and Europe by the end of 2024. This is a bold timeline, but it depends on the hiring of experienced people. The company has secured experimental certificates for two prototype aircraft. The first test flight is expected in the U.K. sometime in the coming months.
The company is also working with the Aerospace Technology Institute, a UK-based research and development center. The Aerospace Technology Institute is supported by Innovate UK and the Department of Business, Energy and Industry Strategy. It is working to ensure that the powerplant is compliant with regulation.
The company also plans to partner with airframe manufacturers and airports. It is working to develop a Hydrogen Airport Refueling Ecosystem, which will support hydrogen production, storage and refueling.
Zero Avia’s hydrogen-electric powertrain will have 90% less lifecycle emissions than jet fuel. This will help to reduce the risks associated with fuel pricing. It will also reduce the costs associated with operating and maintaining an aircraft.
Zero Avia has received over $17 million in grants from the U.K. government. This money will be used to build the necessary infrastructure at airports. It also plans to partner with airports, airframe manufacturers, and airlines.