Intelligent Energy recently provided Airbus with a multi-functional fuel cell auxiliary power unit (APU) aimed at on-board power and other loads in future commercial airliners.
The clean APU, for testing in Airbus’ new Aerotec Fuel Cell Test Centre, is designed around Intelligent Energy’s common core fuel cell systems already utilized in motive programs such as Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell hybrid London taxi and in distributed power work with Scottish and Southern Energy plc.
Airbus has already been investigating how hydrogen fuel cells can provide power for aircraft and has previously tested a hydrogen and oxygen-based fuel cell system on board their A320 test aircraft. The fuel cell system powers the aircraft’s back-up hydraulic and electric power systems, as well as operating the ailerons.
In February 2008, using a similar type of power system, Intelligent Energy provided the system to Boeing which powered the first manned fuel cell aircraft. (Earlier post.)