Singapore-based HES Energy Systems is developing a hydrogen-fueled electric passenger aircraft.
The project was named Element One. It will consist of ultra-lightweight hydrogen fuel cells enclosed in a common electric aircraft design. Depending on the form of hydrogen storage (gaseous or liquid), it will be able to transport no more than four people over a distance of 500 to 5000 km.
Security is ensured by a modular structure and multiple redundancy systems. Automated refueling will take just 10 minutes.
According to the company, the Element One’s performance will be orders of magnitude higher than that of any existing electric aircraft, which will allow new air routes to be created even between small towns and rural areas, using the existing network of airports and airfields. The environmental issue is increasingly being raised in the field of air transportation, and a future project may be its solution.
HES Energy Systems is currently in talks with industrial hydrogen producers to discuss energy efficient refueling systems that use renewable solar or wind power generated locally. The first working prototype is planned to be created by 2025, while a technical and commercial consortium is being formed..
Marine transport is also switching to renewable energy sources. SolarImpact has unveiled a luxury yacht, almost entirely covered in solar panels, allowing endless cruising in comfort without worrying about fuel.
text: Ivan Malichenko, photo: HES Energy Systems
Is hydrogen the future of flight?