Although it accounts for only 4.2% of the total global warming potential, the concern today is that aviation generated CO2 is projected to grow to approximately 5.7% by 2050. Aviation emissions are growing faster than any other sector and they risk undermining the progress achieved through emission cuts in other areas of the economy. Rapidly emerging hydrogen and fuel-cell-based technologies could be developed for future replacement of on-board electrical systems in “more-electric” or “all-electric” aircrafts. Primary advantages of deploying these technologies are low emissions and low noise (important features for commuter airplanes, which takeoff and land in urban areas). Solid oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) systems could result advantageous for some aeronautical applications due to their capability of accepting hydrocarbons and high energy-density fuels. Moreover they are suitable for operating in combined-heat-and-power configurations, recovering heat from the high-temperature exhaust gases, which could be used to supply thermal loads therefore reducing the electric power requested by the aircraft. ENFICA-FC is a project selected by the European Commission in the Aeronautics and Space priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and led by Politecnico di Torino, in Turin, Italy. One of the objectives of the project is to carry out a feasibility study on a more-electric intercity aircraft (regional jet: 32 seats). After the characterization of the power consumption of electrical and nonelectrical loads, and the definition of a mission profile, the design of the SOFC-based energy system as well as the simulation of a complete mission is performed hypothesizing different system configurations. The simulation concerns both the stack (current and current density, cell and stack voltage, etc.) and the balance-of-plant (air compressor power, gross stack power, system efficiency, etc.). The obtained results are analyzed and discussed.

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