ZeroAvia acquires high-temperature PEM fuel cell company HyPoint
07 October 2022
UK-based ZeroAvia, a developer of zero-emission solutions for commercial aviation, acquired in full the high-temperature PEM (HTPEM) fuel cell stack innovator HyPoint. (Earlier post.) The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
HyPoint’s core innovation is a new turbo air-cooling architecture. By utilizing compressed air for both cooling and oxygen supply, HyPoint reduces overall weight compared with traditional liquid cooling. Using a next-generation high temperature membrane instead of a low temperature membrane increases the efficiency of a cooling system by at least 300%.
Testing has shown that HyPoint’s fuel cell system will be able to achieve up to 2 kW kg-1 of specific power—more than triple the power-to-weight ratio of traditional (liquid-cooled) hydrogen fuel cells systems. It will also feature up to 1,500 Wh kg-1 of energy density, enabling longer-distance journeys.
HyPoint 150 kW turbo air-cooled HTPEM fuel cell system
The acquisition adds HyPoint’s high-temperature fuel cell technology—a promising avenue for increasing power output and energy density of aviation fuel cell powertrains—to ZeroAvia’s already leading expertise in developing the full powertrain to enable hydrogen-electric flight.
This acquisition follows a major deal with ZeroAvia’s long-term fuel cell partner PowerCell which will see the serial delivery of low-temperature PEM fuel cell stacks beginning in 2024. Together, these moves will allow ZeroAvia to progress both LTPEM and HTPEM technologies for relevant aviation applications.
All 40 HyPoint team members will be integrated into ZeroAvia, working across the R&D locations in Kemble, Gloucestershire and HyPoint’s location in Sandwich, Kent. HyPoint’s CEO Alex Ivanenko joins ZeroAvia as GM for VTOL and New Segments, to develop ZeroAvia’s rotorcraft business applications, and to explore other applications outside of ZeroAvia’s core focus on fixed-wing commercial aviation.
All of HyPoint’s engineering team will join ZeroAvia’s Hydrogen Power Generation Systems (PGS) division led by Rudolf Coertze, CTO Hydrogen.
The two companies have worked closely together on co-developing and testing HTPEM fuel cell technology as part of ZeroAvia’s powertrain development over the last couple of years, with HyPoint relocating the bulk of its R&D into the UK in February 2022 to support the partnership.
HyPoint has garnered recognition as an innovator developing technology with the potential to significantly expedite the introduction of fuel cell propulsion into larger aircraft. This early partnership was part of ZeroAvia’s work within the HyFlyer II program, supported by the UK’s ATI Program.
I'm a lot keener on Hypoint than Zero Avia, who have used some dubious promotion ploys in the past, but perhaps that is par for the course these days on start ups trying to attract investment and gain critical mass.
Lets hope it works out.
Posted by: Davemart | 07 October 2022 at 08:10 AM
2kW/kg makes H2 fuel viable for aviation. Turbo compounding to get higher pressure and Reaction Engines micro fin tech will allow even higher power density.
Posted by: GdB | 07 October 2022 at 11:37 AM
Here is a link to Hypoint's white paper on their tech, which I found pretty exciting:
Posted by: Davemart | 07 October 2022 at 11:52 AM