Universal Hydrogen demos AmpCart H2 product 

Universal Hydrogen

A first operational demo of Universal Hydrogen’s feeling infrastructure product has gone to plan, the firm reports.

The AmpCart H2 is designed to be a near-term solution to the shortage of charging infrastructure for electric ground support equipment at airports. Developed in collaboration with Oshkosh AeroTech, the product is enabled by Universal Hydrogen’s modular fuelling technology that enables every airport to be hydrogen-ready without purpose-built hydrogen fuelling infrastructure. 

On track for operational deployment by the end of 2024, the recent operational demonstration took place at Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles. It involved the charging of two DHL electrified tractors using a mobile AmpCart H2 prototype and portable hydrogen storage modules.

“In the last 10 years or so, there has been a major push among airlines, airports, and ground services providers to electrify airport ground support equipment (GSE), but unfortunately the charging infrastructure is significantly lagging, leading to adoption of diesel generators for charging of electric GSE,” said Arnaud Namer chief operating officer Universal Hydrogen. “We aim to change that by providing a clean, hydrogen-powered mobile charging solution for airports.”

Hawthorne is the fifth airport at which Universal Hydrogen has successfully “utilised hydrogen” on airport grounds. Hydrogen modules are fuelled with green hydrogen off-airport, usually near the point of hydrogen production, and transferred to the airport landside. From there, the modules are loaded onto a trailer for safe and efficient transportation to any location airside of the airport.

Rod Williams chief commercial officer Universal Hydrogen said: “Since Universal Hydrogen’s inception we have captured the attention of the industry and partnered with numerous regional airlines to deliver a zero-emissions solution in the mid-2020s.

“For operators of larger aircraft, however, a hydrogen airplane solution won’t enter the market until the mid-2030s, yet they still have a clear and urgent need to decarbonise their operations. As these airlines shifted their focus to non-aviation emissions produced by the operation of GSE, we identified the ways in which our unique modular technology could be adapted to meet this need.” 

The recent demonstration was witnessed by airline and leasing representatives from DHL, Mercury GSE, Fortbrand, Xcēd, and American Airlines.

Paul Eremenko CEO Universal Hydrogen added: “True to our name, we see modular delivery of hydrogen solving the infrastructure problem for hydrogen adoption in a multitude of different applications. Doing so for charging of electric GSE is an important early step in the decarbonisation of the overall aviation ecosystem, while also reducing risk and serving as an important proof point several years ahead of our regional aviation product.”