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Fuel-Cell-Powered Electric Motor Drive Analyzed for a Large AirplaneBecause of its high efficiency, fuel cell technology may be used to launch a new generation of more-electric aeropropulsion and power systems for future aircraft. Electric-motor-driven airplanes using fuel-cell powerplants would be beneficial to the environment because of fuel savings, low noise, and zero carbon-dioxide emissions. In spite of the fuel cell s efficiency benefit, to produce the same shaft drive power, a fuel cell- powered electric-drive system must be definitely heavier than a turbine-drive system. However, the fuel-cell system s overall efficiency from fuel-to-shaft power is higher than for a turbine-drive system. This means that the fuel consumption rate could be lower than for a conventional system. For heavier, fuel-laden planes for longer flights, we might achieve substantial fuel savings. In the airplane industry, in fact, an efficiency gain of even a few percentage points can make a major economic difference in operating costs.
Document ID
Document Type
Brown, Gerald V.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Choi, Benjamin B.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Research and Technology 2004
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion And Power
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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