HyTruck will fuel zero-emission hydrogen flights from Orkney in HyFlyer project
A deal has been struck to provide a hydrogen refuelling vehicle to help power the first zero-emission flights from Orkney.
The first ever mobile hydrogen refuelling vehicle was launched in 2016 by Fuel Cell Systems Limited (FCSL) and the same company will provide a version of its HyTruck for an innovative aviation project.
The HyFlyer project, funded by Innovate UK, aims to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology for zero-emission aviation. It will integrate a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain on board a Piper M-class six-seater aircraft and perform test flights out of Orkney and Cranfield.
The project is being led by ZeroAvia, developers of hydrogen fuel cell powertrain solutions, which is collaborating with fuel cell engineering company, Intelligent Energy, on the optimisation of its fuel cell technology for aviation use.
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has now awarded a contract to fuel cell technology solutions provider FCSL to supply a mobile hydrogen refuelling vehicle for the HyFlyer project.
The tender for the mobile refuelling unit was issued by HyFlyer project partner EMEC Hydrogen which is investigating the infrastructure required and will supply renewably produced, green hydrogen for the flight tests in Orkney.
The scope of work contracted to FCSL involves the design and development of a mobile refuelling unit as a solution to supply hydrogen airside and fuel the aircraft for the test flights in Cranfield and Orkney.
FCSL's HyTruck has supported a range of projects, including a trial of Suzuki fuel cell powered scooters by the Metropolitan Police and the testing of the first hydrogen fuel cell train in the UK, Hydroflex.
FCSL will supply a new refuelling vehicle for the HyFlyer project, based on this tried and tested design.
Tom Chicken, chief technology officer at Fuel Cell Systems Ltd, said: “We are excited that FCSL has been chosen to provide the refuelling product for this project.
"Providing fuel at the correct pressure, purity, quantity and place is a vital enabler to maximise the opportunity presented by hydrogen. HyTruck delivers on all these fronts and is an important part of our spectrum of mobile refuelling products.”
Richard Ainsworth, hydrogen project specialist at EMEC Hydrogen, said: “EMEC Hydrogen is delighted to be working with FCSL in delivering a mobile refuelling truck for the HyFlyer project. With their expertise and experience in providing hydrogen refuelling solutions, HyTruck from FCSL allows us to use green hydrogen as a fuel that is compatible with the aircraft.
"This collaboration will see further integration of hydrogen infrastructure on Orkney and support the decarbonisation of lifeline transport services.”