Happy Takeoff Publishes Hydrogen Paper
VFS corporate member Happy Takeoff published a 32-page white paper on Aug. 7, 2020 entitled, "Captive-Use Hydrogen For Advanced Air Mobility" (rev. Aug 18, 2020). Hydrogen has much greater energy density than batteries, and so holds incredible promise for electric VTOL aircraft in the future.
Hydrogen is viewed as a viable energy source for aviation, but is often ruled out due to cost, public perception of safety, and underdeveloped infrastructure. Further, most current production methods rely on fossil fuels, thus negating the carbon-neutral potential of hydrogen. This paper shows that on-site hydrogen production and storage can be accomplished by integration and innovation of current technologies. Efforts are underway to accomplish this more efficiently and with smaller footprint.
According to the Executive Summary:
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are forecasted to become cheaper than batteries and internal combustion engines by 2026. Hydrogen can also be refueled quickly, has zero harmful emissions, and is the most abundant element in the universe. However, hydrogen does not come without its challenges. It is expensive to transport, difficult to store, and often made with methods using fossil fuels that emit more GHGs than the hydrogen negates. Technology exists to make hydrogen from all renewable resources. Furthermore, if captive hydrogen (hydrogen that is made onsite at the refueling station) is taken advantage of, inefficient transport can be eliminated. Incredible innovations in hydrogen storage are being made to advance the maturity of hydrogen aircraft.
Download the paper (1 MB pdf, V2, revised Aug. 18, 2020)