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HyPoint reveals aviation hydrogen fuel cell prototype

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HyPoint has unveiled the first operable prototype of its turbo air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell system.

Full-scale versions, which are expected to begin shipping in 2022, will drive the commercial development of zero-emission e-aircraft, eVTOL, and urban air mobility vehicles, and serve an important role in the global effort to curb carbon emissions.

The arrival of zero-emission aviation has been hindered by the energy density limitations of lithium-ion batteries and the specific power limitations of hydrogen fuel cells. Testing has shown that HyPoint’s turbo air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell system will be able to achieve up to 2,000 watts per kilogram of specific power, which is more than triple the power-to-weight ratio of traditional hydrogen fuel cells systems. It will also boast up to 1,500 watt-hours per kilogram of energy density, enabling longer-distance journeys.

By addressing these core technological barriers, HyPoint will cut years off commercial delivery timelines for hydrogen aircraft and unlock the emerging hydrogen aviation market, which is expected to be valued at more than $27 billion in 2030 and at least $174 billion by 2040, according to Allied Market Research.

HyPoint’s approach utilizes compressed air for both cooling and oxygen supply to deliver a high-temperature (HTPEM) fuel cell system that is three times lighter than comparable liquid-cooled low-temperature (LTPEM) fuel cell systems. It also leverages a number of technical innovations including lightweight bipolar plates and a highly conductive, corrosion-resistant coating in order to radically outperform existing systems. As a result, HyPoint can deliver up to a 50% reduction in total cost of ownership for aircraft makers and empower them to create practical, cost-effective zero-emission vehicles.

“Last year we proved that hydrogen-electric aircraft are not only possible but inevitable — and now we are working hard to get a 100-seat zero-emission aircraft in the skies before 2030.”

Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia.

Cooperation with NREL

HyPoint will also begin work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to further test and validate its hydrogen fuel cell technology. NREL’s hydrogen and fuel cell research and development focuses on developing, integrating, and demonstrating hydrogen production and delivery, hydrogen storage, and fuel cell technologies for transportation, stationary, and portable applications.

“This functional prototype brings us one step closer to our vision of delivering efficient and cost-effective zero-carbon emission fuel cell technology to the aviation industry, which is expected to contribute up to a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if left unchecked.”

Dr. Alex Ivanenko, founder and CEO of HyPoint.
Anela Dokso

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