Last year, the aviation industry saw the achievements of the Hyflyer I project, which demonstrated the world’s first flight of a hydrogen-electric aircraft at Cranfield in September. Now, having been awarded a further £12.3m of funding granted by the UK Government, the Hyflyer II project has launched with the aim to demonstrate a larger 19-seat hydrogen-electric aircraft. As part of the programme, HyFlyer partner EMEC has awarded a contract to NanoSUN to deliver a Pioneer Hydrogen Refuelling Station to support hydrogen storage and dispensing for the new aircraft.
Within the HyFlyer II project, EMEC are responsible for delivering the green hydrogen refuelling solution to power the aircraft for flight tests. The solution competitively selected by EMEC includes NanoSUN’s own mobile Pioneer Hydrogen Refuelling Station, modified to suit an airport environment. The project will see the refuelling hardware delivered to the airfield mid 2022 with commissioning and integration testing completed in Q3 2022 ready for the aircraft test flights.
The HyFlyer II project will see a consortium, led by ZeroAvia, develop the first certifiable hydrogen-electric, powertrain that can power airframes carrying up to 19 passengers. Supported by the Department for Business & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and Innovate UK, this development will build on the first HyFlyer project initiated in 2019, which tested a smaller version of ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in a 6-seat Piper Malibu M350. HyFlyer II will culminate in another world-first, hydrogen-electric flight, this time in a 19-seat aircraft with a 350-mile demonstration flight planned for early 2023.
Transportation produces around a third of CO2 emissions for developed nations, often overshadowing coal burning power generation emissions and presenting the main cause of pollution. ZeroAvia reports that aviation currently accounts for over 12% of total transportation emissions and growing at a fast rate. Net CO2 aviation emissions, as a percentage of total human climate impact, have been estimated at 5% to 10% today with a predicted growth to between 25% and 50% by 2050.
NanoSUN Commercial Director, Lee Juby commented, “The partnership with EMEC is a fabulous opportunity for the NanoSUN Pioneer. We will be able to demonstrate the rapid deployment of hydrogen vehicle refuelling in the aviation sector. The project underlines the flexible multi-role nature of the Pioneer providing volume hydrogen storage, hydrogen transportation and hydrogen dispensing”.
Nithiananthan Vejayan, Project Manager at EMEC, said: “Green Hydrogen is increasingly considered as an alternate sustainable aviation fuel to assist in reaching Net Zero. The use of a bespoke mobile refuelling solution is essential in ensuring the safe transportation and delivery of Green Hydrogen for aviation. We are delighted to partner with NanoSUN to develop a state-of-the-art refueller for the HyFlyer II project.”
As hydrogen fuel-cell technology continues to be recognised as a leading, practical solution to reducing carbon emissions in the aviation industry, the Hyflyer II project and NanoSUN’s participation in delivering rapid, mobile refuelling will be instrumental in delivering hydrogen powered aviation solutions to the transportation market.
NanoSUN develops hydrogen distribution and mobile refuelling equipment. Based in Lancaster, UK, our vision is for hydrogen to become the major energy vector in a decarbonised world. In order to achieve this, NanoSUN's founders aimed to accelerate hydrogen use with their innovative technologies by bridging the gap between the hydrogen supply industry and the needs of hydrogen users for convenient, low cost, simple-to-use and safe fuelling systems.
Established in 2003,EMEC is the world’s leading facility for testing wave and tidal energy converters in real sea conditions. The centre offers independent, accredited grid-connected test berths for full-scale prototypes, as well as test sites in less challenging conditions for use by smaller scale technologies, supply chain companies, and equipment manufacturers. The organisation is committed to supporting the transition to net zero and has expanded activities into new sectors including green hydrogen, energy systems and floating wind.
EMEC achieved a world first in 2017, generating hydrogen using tidal power for the first time. Using Orkney’s renewable energy to produce green hydrogen, EMEC is a partner in a growing number of innovative energy systems and hydrogen demonstration projects, driving the development of the local hydrogen economy working alongside global stakeholders to decarbonise power, heat and transport.
To find out more about NanoSUN's Pioneer Hydrogen Refuelling Station, take a look at the complete Pioneer Solution below.