Innovative fuel cells took honors at this year’s GreenTec Awards in Berlin. Airbus walked away with the award in the aviation category thanks to its work in integrating fuel cells in commercial aircraft.
The company’s research analyzed replacing the auxiliary power unit (APU) and ram air turbine (RAT) with a multifunctional fuel cell. In the Airbus model, the waste products from the fuel cell could be repurposed elsewhere on the aircraft: the inert nitrogen gas would replace halon-based fire suppression systems in the cargo hold, and could be used in the fuel tanks; the water produced could be funneled back to the plane’s water supply system.
Ceramic Fuel Cells took the award in the energy category for its BlueGEN technology, a dishwasher-sized fuel cell “micro power plant” that runs on natural gas that can produce energy and heat for buildings. It can operate at up to 60% efficiency, and the company claims it could reduce CO2 emissions by 50%. Waste heat from the unit can also be recovered to provide 200 liters of hot water per day.
Another company we’ve written about before, e-volo, was also at the ceremony, and its VC200 Volocopter aircraft was suspended from the ceiling. The electric multicopter should be ready for manned flights later this year.
Source: Volocopter, Ceramic Fuel Cells