2012 MRS Spring Meeting (April 9 - 13).

K. Andreas Friedrich - “Taking Off” with Fuel Cells

In this Symposium X talk from the 2012 MRS Spring Meeting, K. Andreas Friedrich (German Aerospace Center (DLR)/University of Stuttgart, Germany) presents "'Taking Off' With Fuel Cells." Dr. Friedrich's abstract appears below:
lthough air transport is responsible for only about 2% of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the rapidly increasing volume of air traffic leads to a general concern about the environmental impact of aviation. Future aircraft generations have to face enhanced requirements concerning productivity, environmental compatibility, and higher operational availability, thus triggering innovative and inventive development approaches in a conservative industry. Today’s development in aircraft architecture undergoes a trend to a ''more electric aircraft” which is characterized by a higher proportion of electrical systems substituting hydraulically or pneumatically driven components. Fuel cell systems in this context represent a promising solution regarding power provision and the enhancement of the energy efficiency for both cruise and ground operations. An especially interesting concept is the “multifunctional” use of fuel cell systems with utilization of by-products of the power generation, namely the product water and oxygen-depleted air as inert gas.

For several years the DLR in Stuttgart is active in the development of fuel cell systems for aircraft applications. The activities of DLR focus on:
- Identification of fuel cell applications in aircraft in which the properties of fuel cell systems, namely high electric efficiency, low emissions, and silent operation, are capitalized for the aircraft application.
- Design and modeling of possible system designs.
- Experimental investigations regarding specific aircraft relevant operating conditions,
- Qualification of airworthy fuel cell systems.
- Set up and full scale testing of fuel cell systems for application in research aircraft.

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