ZeroAvia uses Ansys modeling solutions to reduce airplane emissions

In order to create a new, sustainable hydrogen-electric powertrain that will lower airplane emissions, ZeroAvia is using Ansys modeling solutions.

In comparison to jet fuel-powered turbines, hydrogen-electric propulsion technology can reduce lifecycle emissions by 90%. According to ZeroAvia, their powertrain will also have significantly reduced running costs.

ZeroAvia flew a Piper Malibu, the largest hydrogen-electric-powered aircraft in the world, to show off the feasibility of zero-emission flight. To assist create this electric-powered aircraft, ZeroAvia engineers used multiphysics simulations from Ansys, including structural analysis, fluid dynamics, FSI, electromagnetic, and electromechanical analysis.

An air compression pump is powered by electricity produced by a solar panel in the ZeroAvia system. Compressed air oxygen interacts with hydrogen in the fuel cell to create electricity, which is then used to power an electric airplane motor. The hydrogen is kept on board in a tank. This process just emits water; there are no greenhouse gases made of carbon.

To eliminate human error and expensive coding errors, the ZeroAvia team used Ansys SCADE to automatically build the code driving the motor. In order to evaluate the safety of the aircraft’s hydro-electric systems and to expedite the rigorous certification procedure, ZeroAvia additionally used the Ansys Medini Analyze software.

ZeroAvia will shortly conduct a flight test of its market-entry product, a 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrain intended for 9-19 seat aircraft and scheduled for commercialization by 2024, using a converted Dornier 228 aircraft. Additionally, ZeroAvia is also developing a 2-5MW powerplant that will enable 40-80 seat aircraft by 2026. Software from Ansys is being used by ZeroAvia for these two certified-intent systems.