Boeing investigate fuel cells for backup power

Boeing and Sandia National Laboratories are collaborating on a project looking at the feasibility of using a hydrogen-powered fuel cell for providing backup power in aircraft.

Qantas 787

Commercial and military aircraft use a variety of techniques for providing backup electrical power to critical subsystems during emergency scenarios. Depending on the aircraft, these may include dedicated battery power, in-flight operation of the auxiliary power unit, a ram air turbine, or other technologies.

The project focuses on the use of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell for backup power. Sandia is leading investigations looking at electrical and environmental requirements, storage issues, and efficiency.

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