ZeroAvia has been working on their hydrogen fuel cell technology for years, and now they’re finally getting the opportunity to test it. The company has just placed an order of Hyzon’s zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells to be used to test fuel cell stacks using plane duty cycles. ZeroAvia is a small company specializing in eco-friendly aviation, and they have been researching producing zero-emission air travel for years. Hyzon’s hydrogen fuel cells are a perfect match for ZeroAvia in this endeavor.
The tests at ZeroAvia are composed of primary requirements, including landing, take-off, and taxiing, alongside strenuous conditions such as rapid altitude changes, high humidity, and simulated system failures. If the tests are successful, the aviation company will be able to market hydrogen fuel cells in small planes thanks to their compact size and weight compared to other technologies like batteries or compressed air. ZeroAvia expects that the fuel cells will be available for commercial use in small aircraft upon completion of the test. The Hyzon’s Gen3 fuel cell stack has been confirmed by a technical certification provider, TUV Rheinland, for its volumetric power ability of over 6.0 kW/liter.
This is a considerable improvement from the previous generation hydrogen fuel cell stacks, which hold a volumetric power of up to 4.5 kW/liter. The advantage of fuel cells is that they can be refilled in a matter of minutes for a few dollars, while batteries, on the contrary, need hours to recharge and cost hundreds of dollars. The downside, however, is that hydrogen refueling infrastructure is still non-existent. For hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars, staff members at ZeroAvia explain, the fueling is done at special stations. For planes, on the other hand, refueling would require airports to have hydrogen pipelines installed or planes to be equipped with their own hydrogen generators. Despite this, however, ZeroAvia is optimistic about the future of hydrogen fuel cells in aviation.