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H2020

HYBPRO Report Summary

Project ID: 774918

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HYBPRO (HYBRID PROPULSION FOR AVIATION)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In the need to reduce the environmental impact of our activities, especially regarding air quality, Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) and resource efficicency, hybrid-electric propulsion systems have the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption in the aviation industry, and one sector where they can be commercialised very quickly is in the light-aircraft (manned and unmanned). In addition, another menace caused by aircraft, which is noise pollution can be drastically cut through electric propulsion. Also very importantly regarding safety, the hybrid propulsion provides a backup motor option in case of engine failure that accounts for 32% of all fatal crashes. In addition, the retrofitting of the existing stock can benefit greatly in reuse of existing resources whilst meeting the tighter complainace regulations regarding emissions and noise pollution Source. Nevertheless, despite these benefits and the technology, currently there is no company that is effectively meeting this market for the light aircraft sector, particularly leveraging the benefits of retrofitting the existing stock. This project presents HYBPROP as a solution, and proposes an innovative technology and business model to address the market gap. HYBPROP is a solution designed by the aeronautic company AXTER AEROSPACE that will introduce novel technology and business model aimed initially at retrofitting the existing stock of gasoline powered aircraft to pluggable-hybrid electric propulsion aircrafts, having the sufficient maturity of the tested technology at a time where the opportunities are ripe, focused on a market segment that will benefit greatly, as detailed below:
1. The primary cost of aircraft maintenance tends to be engine replacement. Given that the average light aircraft in use is upwards of 30 years old, there is a large market retrofitting aeroplanes and this market will grow as tighter emissions regulations come into force Source.
2. The typical use patter of light aircraft – short durantion and high frequency (average one hour, and hundred per year) Source makes them very suitable for electric conversion, particularly as the low range is not an issue.
3. The new regulations put forth in Europe and coming to force worldwide restrict and penalise contamination of air transport and aim to reduce noise pollution; aiming to reduce environmental and social pressures, namely contamination from fossil fuels and reducing noise pollution. As such there will be greater consumer demand and regulatory incentives towards hybrid and electric propulsion aircraft.
4. The hybrid engines offer greater in-flight security by offering a backup propulsion method in case of the single engine failure. Given light aircraft tend to be single engine this benefit is highly desirable and demanded – reducing incidents: 71 annual deaths in Europe Source [see video].
Majority of light aircraft owners are not professional (81%) [Source]. As such the high maintenance costs to be done at airports is a major consideration given the need to be done at official airports. Our techjnolgoy reduces maintenance costs significantly, our business model integrates maintenance contracts as a Technology as a Service.

Being unique of its kind in the market, HYBPROP pursues to accelerate the market adoption and international penetration of the best hybrid plane engine (electric-fuel combination) by preparing ourselves for the commercialisation of our own developed technology which is adaptable existing combustion engine aircraft. The disruptive technology means aircraft can use the electric motor for taxiing and for the majority of the period in-flight, reducing the consumption of fuel and the maintenance cost of the engine.

The aim of the phase-1 is to carry out a feasibility study to analyze the viability of the HYBPROP solution to be offered at international level.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During phase 1, we carried out a deeper market analysis, identifying target markets and segments, competitors and stakeholders. We also analyzed the barriers to enter those target markets, together with the risks and opportunities.
In addition, we analyzed the current structure and resources of the company. this was useful to define a growing strategy that allows us to expand in a sustainable and efficient way, being alliances with partners and stakeholders key for reaching such goal.

As conclusion of the above actions and analysis, we confirm and conclude there is a clear business opportunity to introduce AX-50 as product in the target markets. There is a substantial demand and to ensure successful market introduction, the company is looking to reinforce the capacity (hiring new personnel and establishing strategic alliances with distributors and stakeholders) and adapt the technology correspondingly.
Basically, we have defined as technological roadmap and innovation strategy to evolve AX-40S to AX-50, this way the new product will:
• Be aligned with Europe and world societal challenges being focused on greener vehicles
• Generate benefits for customers: safety, less maintenance cost, less fuel consumption, greener.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Even if AX-40S is providing satisfactory results, we have detected it’s time to advance it towards it’s next generation with the aim to meet the market demands. This new version will be the AX-50, that will have:
o New functionalities as per customers and interviews feedback request
o Weight reduction as per industry request
o Production cost reduction as per business request

This way, we can consider the AX-40S which is currently in TRL9 (acquiring field maturity since 2015) as the base for the new AX-50 product (which is then at TRL6). The AX-50, as is an evolution of the AX-40 S will continue providing the features of the AX40-S, that we will try to continue improving:
• High efficient (98%), low weight and liquid-cooling less electric motor controller of 40 kW power.
• High voltage energy regeneration controller for hybrid propulsion system (Battery Charger)
• Customizable Hybrid Propulsion Main Control System. Monitoring, protection logic and communication.
• Customizable Smart Battery Management System (BMS) with different safety protection levels. Compatible with all cells technology.
• High power lithium battery package.
• Clutching system interface between fuel engine and electric motor

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