Energy Supply for Aircraft

Project DIANA

Electrically autonomous galleys relieve engines and environment

Diana logo
© Diehl Aerospace
Fuel processor system
© Fraunhofer IMM

Fuel processor system

Trolley
© Diehl Aerospace

Trolley

In the framework of the project DIANA, we develop a mobile power supply for passenger aircraft together with the lead company Diehl Aerospace GmbH and the German Society of Aerospace e.V. (DLR). The increased energy consumption in an aircraft cannot completely be covered by the conventional power generators main turbine and the auxiliary power unit (APU). Therefore, and because the galleys are one of the main consumers of electricity in the aircraft, a trolley was chosen as a mobile unit, which can be docked to the galley and in this way ensures its energy supply.

Functionalities

A core component of the innovative trolley is our fuel processor consisting of a reformer, a catalytic start-up burner, reactors for the water-gas shift reaction and the selective oxidation as well as heat exchangers and an evaporator. From the energy source propylene glycol, which is already accredited for the aviation sector, purified hydrogen will be generated via a series of catalytic processes. Besides the storage tank for propylene glycol, the trolley contains a fuel cell, in which the produced hydrogen is converted into electric power through a reaction with oxygen. Harmless water and heat are the waste products of this energy conversion.

Properties and application areas

The limited space available in the trolley posed the highest demands especially on the fuel processor in terms of compactness. We have managed to integrate the gas purification unit into one single component, whereas in conventional equipment it normally consists of five components. Only this allowed us to cope with the limited space available. Our service included the development of a new catalyst formulation for the reforming of propylene glycol, the development of a suitable reactor design for the reformer system, the development of a new catalytic start-up burner and new evaporation concepts.

Our research & development services

Our services in the field of aerospace range from detailed design and manufacture of individual reactors and components via testing up to the integration of complete fuel processors for a power range of 50 kW and more. Compactness, maximum efficiency and highly dynamic behavior are system properties our customers can benefit from.

 

Developed in the framework of collaboration with Diehl Aerospace within the projects DIANA and GETPOWER, funded by the aviation research program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.