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Safran and Cella Energy to develop hydrogen storage systems for aerospace applications

News International-French

23 Sep 2014

Safran and Cella Energy announce that they have signed an exclusive partnership to develop hydrogen based power systems with Safran.

Cella Energy is a UK company who has developed a safe and lightweight material that stores hydrogen in a solid form. It is plastic-like and releases hydrogen quickly when heated to moderate temperatures. By combining Cella’s expertise in hydrogen storage materials and Safran’s expertise in aerospace engineering, the companies will accelerate the development of the equipment that can exploit this unique material for applications on-board aircraft.

“We are really excited about this opportunity; it gives us access to world class aerospace engineering and a direct route to market”, said Cella Energy’s Managing Director and founder Stephen Bennington.

By using a fuel cell, which converts the hydrogen cleanly and efficiently to electrical power, the two companies will make a device that packs much more energy than a battery for the same weight. This technology contributes to the more electrical aircraft, one of Safran’s strategic developments in aerospace. The method more commonly used to store hydrogen is to compress it to very high pressures. The system that Cella and Safran will develop over the next year will match the performance of the latest carbon-fibre hydrogen storage tanks and will facilitate hydrogen logistic for aerospace on board applications.

The agreement recently signed in July this year, gives Safran an exclusive access to Cella Energy’s technology, not including unmanned aerial vehicles, and provides funding to Cella to build a prototype device with Safran.