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Assessment of Metal Hydride Reactors as Thermal Management Enhancement of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Electric Aircraft

Franke, Florian and Link, Antje and Kazula, Stefan (2023) Assessment of Metal Hydride Reactors as Thermal Management Enhancement of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Electric Aircraft. In: AIAA Aviation 2023 Forum. AIAA Aviation Forum / EATS 2023, 12.-16.06.2023, San Diego, USA. doi: 10.2514/6.2023-3877.

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Electrified propulsion systems have the potential to reduce the environmental impact of aviation. Hydrogen fuel cells as primary energy supplier are a promising technology to power the electrically-driven propulsors. However, the thermal management of fuel cells is challenging due to their high amount of excess heat energy at a typically low temperature level. This work investigates the cooling potential of metal hydride (MH) reactors to enhance the thermal management system (TMS) of low temperature fuel cells. As a secondary function, the MH reactor can serve as an emergency hydrogen supply. There are two operation concepts of MH reactors considered in this study. In the first operation concept, the MH acts as a heat sink by absorbing some share of the heat of the fuel cell. This decreases the amount of heat to be removed by the TMS. In the second operation concept, the MH reactor operates as a heat pump to enlarge the temperature difference in the heat transfer fluid cycle. This improves the performance of the heat exchanger of the TMS to reject heat to the ambient air. For both operation modes, a sizing of an MH reactor and a heat exchanger is performed to estimate the impact on the TMS. While an exemplary general aviation aircraft serves as calculation example, the results are also applicable to commuter and regional aviation aircrafts. The study shows, that MH reactors have the potential to reduce the size of the heat exchanger significantly. In quasi-continuous heat pump operation, an MH reactor allows a reduction of the heat exchanger dimensions of up to 8 %. If the maximum heat rejection during take-off determines the heat exchanger size, a reduction of even 39% is reasonable when the MH reactor operates as a heat sink.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195763/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Assessment of Metal Hydride Reactors as Thermal Management Enhancement of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Electric Aircraft
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Franke, FlorianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0006-9073-1457137828941
Link, AntjeUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3372-9343137828942
Kazula, StefanUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9050-1292137828943
Date:June 2023
Journal or Publication Title:AIAA Aviation 2023 Forum
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Series Name:AIAA AVIATION 2023 Forum
Keywords:Metal hydrides, Aviation, Fuel Cells, Thermal management
Event Title:AIAA Aviation Forum / EATS 2023
Event Location:San Diego, USA
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:12.-16.06.2023
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:Clean Propulsion
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L CP - Clean Propulsion
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Components and Emissions
Location: Cottbus
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Electrified Aero Engines
Deposited By: Franke, Florian
Deposited On:30 Jun 2023 13:55
Last Modified:30 Jun 2023 13:55

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