HyPoint, a US start-up working on a hydrogen fuel cell system for aviation, has revealed its first functional prototype turbo air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell system. The system has passed key validation testing to prove its technical viability. The company plan is to start commercialising the full-scale version next year, targeting e-aircraft, eVTOL, and urban air mobility vehicles.
“We are planning to begin production in 2022 in California”, Dr Alex told H2Bulletin. Regarding commercial deals, he said, “we have several customers, some of which have been announced, and we are fielding significant interest across the aviation and aeronautical spectrum.”
HyPoint uses compressed air for both cooling and oxygen supply to deliver a high-temperature (HTPEM) fuel cell system, which is three times lighter than liquid-cooled low-temperature (LTPEM) fuel cell systems.
One of the challenges for the zero-emission aviation industry is the energy density limitations of lithium-ion batteries and the specific power limitations of hydrogen fuel cells. The initial tests show that HyPoint’s turbo air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell system would achieve up to 2,000 watts/kg of specific power, three times the power-to-weight ratio of traditional hydrogen fuel cells systems.
The company ascertain that with its fuel cell technology, the costs can be slashed by almost half. HyPoint also announced that it would begin work with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to further test and validate its hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Dr. Alex further told H2Bulletin that Current hydrogen fuel cell systems and lithium-ion battery systems fail to deliver the necessary specific power and energy density needed for airborne vehicles, which has hindered the development of hydrogen aircraft eVTOLs, and urban air mobility vehicles.
He added that HyPoint’s technology is disruptive because it offers a truly unprecedented combination of specific power and energy density that has not been previously demonstrated.