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H3 Dynamics supplies 0.5 MW hydrogen fuel cell to Airbus Upnext for aircraft APU tests

H3 Dynamics has been contracted by Airbus UpNext for the supply of a customized airworthy 500 kW (0.5MW) hydrogen fuel cell as part of a demonstrator to replace the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) on an Airbus aircraft.

On conventional airliners, the APU is a supplementary engine that operates on standard jet fuel, and facilitates non-propulsive aircraft functions, including air conditioning and electrical power for onboard systems.


H3 Dynamics Fuel Cell tested by Airbus in representative operations at the Centro Nacional de Hidrogeno in Puertollano, Spain. © 2024 Centro Nacional del Hidrógeno

New design features and integration techniques will contribute to maturing operational parameters and will demonstrate the stable operation of a fuel cell. The Airbus UpNext demonstrator was announced at the Paris Airshow last year.

H3 Dynamics is now providing a full line up of advanced hydrogen solutions across the aviation value chain: from 50kW to 2MW fuel cell systems addressing in-flight power and airport ground equipment, to multi-MW-scale on-site hydrogen production systems enabling e-fuel production and the start of hydrogen airport hubs.

H3 Dynamics has been building up its delivery capability in Toulouse, with plans to accelerate a dedicated production line for high performance solutions for the global aviation sector in both Europe and the MENA region.

Unlike main power propulsion applications that require several megawatts of constant power and thus a significant amount of hydrogen, lower power non-propulsive solutions present a near-term opportunity to support the decarbonization of operations both in-flight and on the ground.

H3 Dynamics is an active contributor at EUROCAE Working Group 80 and Alliance for Zero Emission Aviation Working Group-4 in Brussels, as well as drafting fuel cell certification strategy for both EASA and FAA.



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Auxiliary power units also provide compressed air to start the jet engines now if they had hybrid turbo fans you could just power the motor at the front of the fan but that's not the case.

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