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Octopus Hydrogen to supply green hydrogen to ZeroAvia for HyFlyer II

Octopus Hydrogen, Octopus Energy Group’s newly established hydrogen arm, will provide 100% green hydrogen to ZeroAvia’s R&D center at Cotswold Airport in the UK during the testing, certification and first commercial operations of its hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain technology. (Earlier post.)

ZeroAvia will supplement on-site electrolysis hydrogen production with supply from Octopus Hydrogen in order to power its HyFlyer II project—a UK Government-backed program to develop a certifiable 600 kW hydrogen-electric fuel cell powertrain which will power a 19-seat aircraft with 500 nautical mile range.

ZeroAvia plans to bring this powertrain technology to market by 2024, enabling early adoption of commercial zero-emission flights. Octopus Hydrogen will provide more than 250 kilograms of green, fuel cell grade, high pressure hydrogen per day for delivery into ZeroAvia’s mobile refueling unit.

Aviation is a key future use case for green hydrogen, as recognized in the UK Government’s Hydrogen Strategy. ZeroAvia and partners in HyFlyer projects have already developed the Hydrogen Airport Refueling Ecosystem (HARE), inclusive of an on-site electrolyzer.

This system was used to power the breakthrough flight testing program of a six-seat Piper Malibu aircraft as part of HyFlyer I and is in continued use as part of HyFlyer II. The company identified that for the larger program, an additional ready supply of green hydrogen was necessary to supplement on-site production.

Octopus Hydrogen is a new company within the Octopus Energy Group, bringing to market a locally distributed “green hydrogen as a service” proposition for heavy goods transportation, energy storage, industrial applications and aviation to accelerate those sectors’ transition to a clean and zero-carbon future.

Octopus Hydrogen will supply customers with fuel-cell grade green hydrogen at 350 or 700 bar in batches ranging from 200 kg to 1000 kg. Prices start at £5.30 per kilogram.

Hydrogen is delivered directly to customer sites using mobile hydrogen storage and dispensing solutions using a zero emission hydrogen-powered HGV.



This is using Hypoint's LTPEM fuel cell.

The specs are here on page 12 in the first column:


The hydrogen is of course way more expensive than jet fuel at this early stage.

Taking jet fuel at 12KWh/kg compared to 33KWh/kg for hydrogen, and jet fuel at £0.33/kg:

Then as an approximation of a third of the energy density, hydrogen would need to be down to £1 kg to be level.

I don't know what the fuel efficiency of the fc plane is compared to the regular version.

But this is very early days for the hydrogen economy, and jet fuel for some strange reason has no tax on it.


' Using hydrogen produced from local renewable energy is the most practical way to enable zero-emission aircraft of commercially meaningful size on traditional 300 to 500-mile regional missions. It will also be more economical than conventional turbine engines, or even the battery-based systems, on the total cost basis. We calculate the total costs of operating a ZeroAvia aircraft to be close to half of what it costs to fly a conventional turbine aircraft, due to lower fuel input costs, higher powertrain efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs.
—Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia Founder and CEO'

From the figures we have so far, it is difficult to see how that one works anytime soon.


As I said in my previous comment on the Piasecki HyPoint announcement, beware the hype. I think that we will see battery powered light trainer aircraft (already flying) and maybe short range commuter aircraft in this decade. Maybe we will see hydrogen fuel cell aircraft and there is at least a flying prototype but we will also see a fair number of failed companies and a good deal of investor money down the drain.

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