Universal Hydrogen Co. has taken a further step in its testing program, with an airside demonstration of hydrogen refuelling operations.
The company, known for its unique modular hydrogen capsule technology, recently completed an operational demonstration showcasing the loading and unloading of its proprietary hydrogen capsules onto an ATR-72 test aircraft.
Simultaneously, Universal Hydrogen unveiled its fueling logistics solution, the H2AmpCart™, developed in collaboration with JBT AeroTech.
This mobile battery charger for electric ground support equipment (GSE) is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, setting a new standard for eco-friendly air travel support services.
The operational demonstration took place in Toulouse and attracted a distinguished audience, including airlines, airports, official authorities, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) participating in the Airport Compatibility of Alternative Aviation Fuels Task Force (ACAAF TF).
Supported by the Airport Council International World (ACI), this task force is committed to implementing cutting-edge technologies within airports, driving the aviation industry towards a more sustainable future.
The demonstration on the ATR-72 test aircraft involved the loading and unloading of Universal Hydrogen’s modular hydrogen capsules, effectively simulating a turnaround procedure.
This groundbreaking event occurred on the operational F50 apron of Toulouse Blagnac Airport.
The success of the demonstration can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of Toulouse Blagnac Airport, its safety and security partners, and Groupe 3S, the ground handling company responsible for ground operations at the airport.
Redefining Hydrogen Charging
Universal Hydrogen’s partnership with JBT AeroTech has yielded an ingenious solution for recharging electric GSEs (eGSEs) airside, using hydrogen.
This solution eliminates the need for costly airport infrastructure investments and marks a significant step towards making hydrogen a practical and eco-friendly option for day-to-day airport operations.
The hydrogen modules designed for the H2AmpCart have a distinct form-factor compared to those used in aircraft, and they are currently in the testing phase to support their full functionality by year-end.
These modules are filled with green hydrogen off-site and then transported to the airport via existing intermodal freight infrastructure. This approach simplifies and streamlines the charging of eGSEs between operations and minimizes downtime.
The modular hydrogen capsules are loaded onto a trailer, which is then connected to the H2AmpCart using Universal Hydrogen’s innovative purge-less quick connect system.
A Step Toward Zero Emissions
Arnaud Namer, COO of Universal Hydrogen, spoke of the latest achievement achievement, stating,
“Today we took a step closer to hydrogen becoming a reality in the day-to-day operations at airports worldwide as we completed a hydrogen fueling turnaround of our ATR-72 aircraft and presented the fueling logistics of our new H2AmpCart.”
“These airside capabilities underscore the impact our modular hydrogen capsule technology is having on our industry.”
With Universal Hydrogen’s approach, no additional on-airport infrastructure is needed to make modular hydrogen refueling a reality. This cost-effective transition to zero emissions is set to revolutionize the aviation industry and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.
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