ZeroAvia demonstrates ‘record’ HTPEM system testing


ZeroAvia has reported achieving record-breaking performance in testing of its High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HTPEM) systems. 

Early testing of the pressurised 20kW HTPEM stack power module has demonstrated a record 2.5 kW/kg specific power at the cell level, said the firm. ZeroAvia’s technology has been developed over the last three years as part of an effort to build an in-house portfolio of technologies for fuel cell aviation. 

Further development will deliver over 3kW/kg fuel cell system specific power, which ZeroAvia said will enable a step change in performance relative to the traditional fuel cell technologies, making fuel cell propulsion commercially viable for large aircraft. As large as 40-80 seat aircraft, as well as a range of rotorcraft and eVTOL applications. “This next generation of fuel cells could also be sufficient to enable electric propulsion systems for 100+ seat single-aisle turbofan aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320,” it added.

Val Miftakhov, CEO, ZeroAvia, said: “The companies and geographies that seize the lead in high fuel cell temperatures and pressures will lead the industry. This progression is similar to the story of turbine engines, where ever-increasing temperatures and pressures drove higher and higher performance. Hydrogen fuel cell propulsion is the most environmental and economical alternative to existing engines, and HTPEM is the most promising route to delivering these benefits into large aircraft categories.”

The components used in the ZeroAvia system have been validated through third-party independent testing at several independent labs, including a leading US Department of Energy national lab. The development of the HTPEM systems is in part supported by the HyFlyer II project, backed by the UK Government via the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).