Two Hydrogen-Powered Aerial Vehicles

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two very different hydrogen-powered aerial vehicles have come to our attention, each with a different mission, but both with endurance and range as primary functions.  Both use a fairly straightforward fuel cell/motor arrangement to power their flights. Vicor/DMI Fuel Cell Drones Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) is a major drone manufacturer, and their largest products push against the FAA’s 55-pound (24.97-kilogram) weight limit.  Their DM30, powered with a DS30 fuel cell and a 10.8 liter H2 tank weighs 21 kilograms and can carry a five kilogram (11 pound) payload.  Carrying a full payload may require using the smaller seven-liter tank. Alessandro Mascellino, writing in EE Power, describes recent combination of resources that makes long-range drone deliveries possible.  “The first machines built …

Two Ways to Haul 19 on H2

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Pipistel and Delft Technical University have introduced hydrogen (H2) powered, 19-seat airliners for the intermediate-range market.  Both are unique configurations with unique propulsion concepts.  Both attempt to lower drag through the use of their propulsive systems. Pipistrel Miniliner Pipistrel announced their Miniliner concept as a response to a “significant market potential” for a “zero-emission airplane in the 20-seat size class, capable of operating quietly from runways shorter than 1 [kilometer], including grass airstrips at small aerodromes.”  Seen as a disruptive element in providing service to currently unserved areas within a 200 to 1,000 kilometer (124 to 620 mile) range, the Miniliner could also serve as a microfeeder craft between small airports and large hubs. Although Pipistrel is somewhat mum about …

Solar Cells Collect More Light, Display Art

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Friend and frequent contributor Colin Rush sent this Economist item about Semprius, a concentrating solar cell maker about to go into production with their highly efficient technology. It’s big news that a production solar panel is able to convert 42.5 percent of sunlight falling on it into energy, when the world’s record for any solar cell was set last September by the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems with an experimental multi-junction solar cell that’s 44.7 percent efficient.  The 42.5 percent for Semprius cells drops to about 35 percent when they are surrounded by the normal mounting flanges and connecting lines – still well above most production panels. These may achieve 50 percent with suitable refinement. Using breakthroughs devised …

Nudging the Speed Limit on Solar Power

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Imagine driving through the desert with sundown approaching and the gas gauge teetering on empty. Wherever you are when the car runs out of gas or the clock reads 5:00 pm, you spend the night. Competitors in the Challenger Class of this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge had to face this challenge to their comfort and peace of mind every evening for five days. Organizers of this international competition note, “It’s all about energy management!  Based on the original notion that a 1000 Watt car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5 kilowatt hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure.  All other energy must come from the sun or …