ZERO AVIA INTRODUCES COMPRESSOR FOR CELL-BASED AVIATION PROPULSION SYSTEMS
ZeroAvia has developed a world-first, high-performance compressor for fuel cell-based aviation propulsion systems, including the company’s first ZA600 hydrogen-electric powertrain.
Hydrogen fuel cells promise to deliver true zero-emission flight by delivering electrification, but one key challenge is delivering the high flow of oxygen for the chemical reaction in the stacks to provide sufficient quantities of electricity to power the aircraft. At higher altitudes, air compressors need to be powerful and efficient, while not adding undue weight to the propulsion system and thus impacting payload and range.
The compressor is a world first, designed and tested specifically to comply with all requirements pertaining to hydrogen fuel cell-powered aviation propulsion systems. ZeroAvia’s breakthrough enables the company to incorporate the technology as a core part of its first two hydrogen-electric engines: the ZA600 for 9-19 seat aircraft targeting entry-in-service by 2025, and the ZA2000 for 40-80 seat aircraft with EIS targeted for 2027.
Initial testing of the ZeroAvia compressor indicates that it offers highly stable performance across a large range of power and operating environment requirements. Supporting up to 900kW fuel cell systems, the compressor is many times more powerful than any existing fuel cell compressors and offers superior power density.
ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engines use hydrogen in fuel cells to generate electricity, which is then used to power electric motors to turn the aircraft’s propellers, with only water vapor emissions.