ABOVE: CAeS describes the new fuel cell’s integration as ‘a miracle of packaging’

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) has unveiled the design of how its 240 kW hydrogen fuel cell technology system will fit into the nacelle of an aircraft, initially set to be the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander.

‘By packaging the entire full power system (hydrogen fuel cell system and motor) into the nacelle, CAeS has identified all the key technical and packaging challenges of designing a safe and efficient hydrogen power train and found solutions for them all,’ explains CAeS.

The forward section of the nacelle houses the hydrogen fuel cell system (HFCS) itself, along with a variety of adjoining components such as an electric motor, inverters and controllers, a pitch control unit and all of the electrical cabling. The rear nacelle will contain the ground power interface and high voltage power distribution system. The structure for the HFCS heat exchangers will also be mounted around the existing landing gear.

With the company having solved the “packaging and thermal management challenges that underpin the commercial viability of the technology,” Jenny Kavanagh, Chief Strategy Officer at CAeS, added: “Now that this significant milestone has been achieved, CAeS is progressing to the next stage of the project and to launching into manufacture for the [flight] testing campaign”.