Glasgow University and EADS developing conductive storage for solid hydrogen fuel project

the Scotsman – Scientists at the University and EADS IW are working on using nanotechnology to improve the efficiency of the Hydrisafe tank for hydrogen storage as a solid. The Hydrisafe tank was developed by Hydrogen Horizons to store hydrogen in a solid state. By modifying the composition and microstructure of the tank and hydrogen storage materials through nanotechnology, they hope to make it possible to store and distribute the hydrogen so efficiently that it becomes viable for powering fuel cells on aeroplanes. Following the successful completion of the initial project, the team plan to fly an unmanned aircraft using a hydrogen powered fuel cell as a prototype for a commercially usable plane.

If the project goes to plan, the researchers hope to be able to fly an unmanned aircraft using a hydrogen-powered fuel cell as a prototype for a commercially usable plane.

There is detailed information below from a 25 page presentation. This is an alternative hydrogen storage plan that has some compatibility (but also competes) with the Cella Energy micro bead hydride storage system.

BBC news has coverage

Harry McGregor of Scottish start-up firm Hydrogen Horizons, which is due to open a base in Glasgow next year, added: “Hydrogen is not only the most efficient energy carrier available, it is totally clean and completely green. Hydrogen can, and we believe will, revolutionise all modes of transportation.”

The researchers said modifying the construction of the tank will extend its life, making it able to sustain the conditions required to power an aeroplane.

Once the technology has been proven in a small-scale demonstration, the team plans to create a larger team with academic and industrial partners to seek large scale funding from the UK and the European Union.

25 page presentation on the hydrogen storage system of Hydrogen Horizons (from May 2010)


• Faster: Hydripak absorbs Hydrogen 10-fold faster than hydride powder bed due to superior heat conductivity.
• Dimensional Stability provides long cycling life
• Safer (incomparable to gas, better than standard hydrides)
• Lighter, due to more efficient structure (solid vs pressure vessel construction)
• Low maintenance cost: powder clogging is prevented
• Shape efficient (non-cylindrical form possible)
• Adaptable – future hydrides will be accommodated, with lower cost and higher efficiency.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell batteries are poised to replace batteries for portable applications because they can prolong operation time at least 300%.
• Existent Powder Bed Solid Hydride storage provides a safe solution, but is slow, limited lifelength.
• HYDRIPAK enables fast refilling, by providing a high conductivity heat path.
• HYDRIPAK is stable and provides LONGER life
• HYDRIPAK is SAFER, because of its solid structure
• Hydrogen Horizons has The Team to transform HYDRIPAK into Successful Business

The timeline looks far more believable now that they have partnered with EADS Innovation Works (Airbus research department)

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