In Russia, they are developing the concept of a “more electric aircraft”. It is planned to use fuel cells to power auxiliary systems.
The use of a second power plant will relieve the load from the main engines
Several large – United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Rostec and the Russian Academy of Sciences – joined forces to work on the concept of the so-called “more electric aircraft”. It is noteworthy that the level of development is already high, which already allows the introduction of know-how in the industry.
The idea of a “more electric aircraft” consists in installing, in fact, the second power plant, which will feed all the auxiliary systems of the aircraft – appliances, air conditioning system, lighting, etc. This removes the load from the main engine, and, due to this, increases its efficiency by 25% (now it is about 33%).
Fuel cells are planned to be used as a power source for the electric motor. As reported, the fuel cells, created by order of the UAC at the Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, are 7-8 times superior to the most modern lithium-polymer batteries of the same mass, but at the same time they can last longer. It is also planned to supplement the alternative power plant with solar panels.