H3 Dynamics, developer of zero-carbon, digital and autonomous technology solutions, is to partner with Airbus through the provision of a 500kW hydrogen fuel cell for the French manufacturer’s UpNext demonstrator aircraft.

The customised hydrogen fuel cell, which will replace the aircraft’s traditional Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), will feature new design elements and integration techniques that will contribute to maturing operational parameters.

APUs (which facilitate non-propulsive aircraft functions such as electric power for onboard systems) represent an ideal application for early hydrogen integration as, unlike traditional power applications, they use significantly less energy. “Unlike main power propulsion applications that require several megawatts of constant power and thus a significant amount of hydrogen, lower power non-propulsive solutions present a near-term opportunity to support the decarbonisation of operations,” explains H3 Dynamics.

The Airbus UpNext A330-200 HyPower demonstrator was first unveiled in 2023 with the intention of exploring “on the ground and in flight, a new architecture for the generation of non-propulsive energy through the use of hydrogen fuel cells”, detailed Airbus. At the time of its launch, CEO of Airbus UpNext Michael Augello explained the project would “mark a new step in [Airbus’] decarbonisation journey and ZEROe programme,” adding that collaboration with the Spanish government and external partners would be “key enablers of these series of tests”.
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