The Networking, Roadmapping and Exploitation work package (WP5) in ENABLEH2 ensures exchange of information between the consortium and relevant industries, organizations and academic researchers. Furthermore, the aim within WP5 is to contribute through the project’s results to the development of innovation frameworks of both the aviation and the hydrogen industry.
The objectives are:
- To establish and maintain a dedicated ENABLEH2 Network and Community
- To provide roadmaps for maturation of the enabling technologies and the integrated aircraft and propulsion systems to TRL and for the introduction of introduction and transition towards liquid hydrogen (LH2) as a fuel for civil aviation
- To disseminate ENABLEH2 results through project events, conferences, social and traditional media as well as scientific journals
Progress and significant results
ENABLEH2 Advisory Board
ENABLEH2 includes a highly active Industry Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB consists of key civil aviation stakeholders, in addition to other interested members. The liaison and collaboration with the IAB members is actively developed through workshops, conferences, meetings and continuous online communication, namely through the ENABLEH2 Network and Community Platform (CMT).
Currently, the ENABLEH2 Advisory Board includes members from 21 organisations and individual experts and researchers. The Board comprises companies from engine and aircraft industry and hydrogen industry, such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, MTU, Safran, GKN, IAG, Lufthansa Technik, IATA, ICAO, Reaction Engines, Dassault Aviation, Infosys, Air Liquide, Total, Gexcon, Siemens, Abengoa, MHPS and the Clean Sky 2 JU.
In cooperation with the external network, a roadmap is being prepared for the development of hydrogen aircraft to demonstrate technologies by 2035 aiming to allow an aircraft into service during the 2040s. To achieve this, 12 required technology strands and an integrating activity have been identified:
- Ensuring safety with hydrogen-fuelled aviation
- Environmental impact research, and assessment of hydrogen v. alternative fuels
- Specification of aircraft and engine technology levels and mission definitions
- Aircraft economics with LH2 v. alternative fuels
- Regulation & certification of hydrogen aircraft, fuel and operations
- Decarbonisation of energy sources for aviation
- Hydrogen production, liquefaction and distribution
- Airport infrastructure and aircraft fuelling systems for LH2
- Design of aircraft fuel systems for LH2
- Propulsion systems using hydrogen as fuel
- Combustor design and emissions reduction with hydrogen
- New commercial aircraft designs for LH2
- Aircraft operation and maintenance with LH2 fuel
- Integration of funding and timeframes for the introduction of LH2 fuelled aircraft
Visibility and impact of the project
The project has so far achieved a great visibility through scientific publications and participation in major conferences, as EASN 2019 & 2020, ASME Turbo Expo 2019 & 2020, AEC 2020. At the Aviation and the Environment Conference hosted by Cranfield 2019 (AEC 2019) the ENABLEH2 team displayed the new facilities for hydrogen combustion research (Figure 1).
ENABLEH2 has been widely communicated and mentioned in major reports, press articles and videos. The project features among others in INEA Brochure “Horizon 2020 collaborative aviation research”, in ICAO Environmental Report 2019 “Aviation and Environment”, in ETN Report “Hydrogen Gas Turbines”, in UK Parliament Post Note “Low-Carbon Aviation Fuels”, and in “Hydrogen-powered aviation” report, by McKinsey & Company for the Clean Sky 2 JU and Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 JU. It has also been introduced at the Online ICAO Stocktaking Seminar on aviation in-sector CO2 emissions reductions in April 2020.
Moreover, it has received two press articles, by Airport World Magazine “Liquid hydrogen powered aircraft – the shape of things to come?” and The Times “Hydrogen-powered planes to clean up skies”. The project is often quoted and discussed in videos and articles dealing with the thematic of hydrogen fuel.
Numerous papers and posters have been prepared within the project. The ENABLEH2 team includes also a number of young investigators who are provided with a great opportunity to work within the project and present their results at workshops.
WP1 has reviewed developments in H2 production and infrastructure and made projections for the long-term costs of alternative fuels. Four LH2 aircraft configurations have been selected for detailed studies (one “more conventional” and one “maximum synergy” configuration each for a typical short-medium range and long range mission). These concepts were down-selected from several aircraft configurations via a rigorous quality function deployment exercise. Assessments of reference aircraft utilising Jet A-1, biofuels and LNG is almost complete.
Within WP3, comprehensive CFD-based studies (comprising design space exploration, emissions and thermoacoustic assessments) have been completed and have highlighted limitations, uncertainties and significant discrepancies between H2 and air mixing and combustion models of 3 state-of-the-art commercial combustion CFD codes. These models will be further evaluated, validated and calibrated based on the results obtained from the experiments. The design and commissioning of the rigs are underway.
In WP4 a review of aeronautic and H2 industry safety synergies, conflicts and knowledge gaps, and preliminary hazard analyses of laboratory and aircraft systems has been completed. A safety management plan has been issued. Experimental studies are currently underway. The safety of LH2 at airports, has been assessed via a Preliminary Hazard Analysis workshop held at Heathrow.
As part of WP5, a dedicated project website and community management tool have been set up to engage with the IAB members in a formal capacity. Twelve key technology research strands have been identified for the introduction of LH2 for civil aviation as part of a preliminary roadmapping exercise.