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Modelling and Designing Cryogenic Hydrogen Tanks for Future Aircraft Applications

Abstract

In the near future, the challenges to reduce the economic and social dependency on fossil fuels must be faced increasingly. A sustainable and efficient energy supply based on renewable energies enables large-scale applications of electro-fuels for, e.g., the transport sector. The high gravimetric energy density makes liquefied hydrogen a reasonable candidate for energy storage in a light-weight application, such as aviation. Current aircraft structures are designed to accommodate jet fuel and gas turbines allowing a limited retrofitting only. New designs, such as the blended-wing-body, enable a more flexible integration of new storage technologies and energy converters, e.g., cryogenic hydrogen tanks and fuel cells. Against this background, a tank-design model is formulated, which considers geometrical, mechanical and thermal aspects, as well as specific mission profiles while considering a power supply by a fuel cell. This design approach enables the determination of required tank mass and storage density, respectively. A new evaluation value is defined including the vented hydrogen mass throughout the flight enabling more transparent insights on mass shares. Subsequently, a systematic approach in tank partitioning leads to associated compromises regarding the tank weight. The analysis shows that cryogenic hydrogen tanks are highly competitive with kerosene tanks in terms of overall mass, which is further improved by the use of a fuel cell.

Funding source: We would like to acknowledge the support of the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony (Grant No. VWZN3177) for funding the research project “Energy System Transformation in Aviation” in the initiative “Niedersächsisches Vorab”.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany
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/content/journal3086
2018-01-03
2022-09-26
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journal3086
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