Increased greenhouse gas emissions have an adverse impact on climate change. Recently, there is an increased drive to reduce the emissions especially after the Paris agreement 2015. There are several research initiatives that have been started in the aerospace industry to reduce the emissions like NOx, CO2 and other harmful substances. This paper presents the case studies done on the potential applications of fuel cells for more electric aircrafts (MEA) to achieve the reduced emissions and reduced fuel consumption. The objective of this paper is to take a broad view of how fuel cell technology works, various types of existing technologies and their potential applications and challenges for aero engines in terms of power density.
In this study, the different types of fuel cells e.g. low temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells and high temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) etc were studied and identified the opportunities and challenges to make them work for aero engines as a part of electrification. Different ways of storing the hydrogen on board have been explored. The comparison has been made with battery vs fuel cell power density including the H2 tank. The case studies were made for potential replacement of shaft power off take on civil large engines with fuel cells for hybrid long range aircrafts and regional propeller jets with fully electric power.