Airbus has opened a Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies in the UK. A priority for the UK ZEDC in Filton near Bristol will be the development of a low-cost cryogenic tank.
The further development of the cryogenic tank will be neccessary the Airbus ZEROe passenger aircraft to enter service by 2035. The new centre for hydrogen technologies will cooperate with the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), which was recently funded by UK government with a total of 685 million pounds (804 million euros) over the next three years.
At Filton, Airbus plans to conduct whole-system and low-temperature tests, enabling it to map the entire development chain from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing. Airbus notes that end-to-end fuel system development – which is a speciality of Airbus in the UK – is one of the most complex technologies critical to the performance of a future hydrogen aircraft.
Last year, Airbus had decided to combine its efforts for metallic hydrogen tanks and establish Zero Emission Development Centres (ZEDC) at sites in Bremen in Germany, Madrid in Spain and Nantes in France.
Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer said: “Establishing the ZEDC in the UK expands Airbus’ in-house industrial capabilities to design, develop, test and manufacture cryogenic hydrogen storage tanks and related systems for the ZEROe project across Airbus’ four home countries.” She extrapolated, “This, coupled with our partnership with ATI, will allow us to leverage our respective expertise to realise the potential of hydrogen technology to support the decarbonisation of the aviation industry.”
The ZEDC in the UK will become the fourth Airbus hydrogen aviation technology centre. Airbus says that all of its ZEDCs should be fully operational and ready for ground testing the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023. This will lay the groundwork for flight testing to start in 2026.
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