Universal Hydrogen Achieves Breakthrough with Megawatt-Class Fuel Cell Powertrain Test

Universal Hydrogen Achieves Breakthrough with Megawatt-Class Fuel Cell Powertrain Test

Universal Hydrogen Co. has made a significant leap forward in aviation technology by successfully operating a megawatt-class fuel cell powertrain, powered by its innovative liquid hydrogen module. Mark Cousin, President & CTO of Universal Hydrogen, hailed this as “the largest fuel cell powertrain ever to run on liquid hydrogen,” marking a continuation of groundbreaking achievements for the company. In a meticulous simulation that mirrored a regional aircraft flight profile, the “iron bird” ground test rig was powered for more than an hour and forty minutes. This test rig, a precise functional representation of the powertrain Universal Hydrogen has been testing since March 2023, highlights the company’s strides toward revolutionizing regional air travel.

Executed at the Mojave Air & Space Port, this trial signified the inaugural integration of the company’s liquid hydrogen module with its powertrain, underscoring a critical step towards its ambition to launch passenger services by 2026. The liquid hydrogen module, designed at Universal Hydrogen’s Toulouse, France, engineering center, is at the heart of the company’s vision for aviation fuel services. It encapsulates the intricate process of managing cryogenic hydrogen while offering a straightforward container interface for seamless integration with existing freight and airport cargo systems. Capable of holding approximately 200 kilograms of liquid hydrogen without boil-off, the module incorporates systems to convert the fuel into gaseous hydrogen for the powertrain and features like hydrogen leak detection and secure quick-connect mechanisms for aircraft installation.

Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen, emphasized the significance of this complete demonstration, from hydrogen supply to powertrain operation, as a pivotal integration of the company’s regional aviation product suite. Looking ahead, the next milestone involves adapting their flight testbed to operate with the liquid hydrogen-fueled powertrain.

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Following closely after a demonstration of a hydrogen-powered charger for airport ground support equipment, this latest achievement reflects Universal Hydrogen’s commitment to providing versatile and sustainable aviation solutions. With the recent appointment of Stasy Pasterick as Chief Financial Officer, the company is poised to continue its trajectory towards enabling a greener future in aviation.

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