HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and water, today commented today on a recent announcement that Airbus, a leading airplane manufacturer, has entered into a three-year research agreement with South Africa's National Aerospace Centre to fund and develop hydrogen fuel cell technologies.
The goal of the joint-funding effort will be to replace the Auxiliary Power Units (APU), which generate on-board electrical power and heat when a plane is on the ground. Commonly diesel powered, APUs are also utilized for providing the energy to start the main engines. In addition to replacing APUs which would cut emissions and reduce noise on the ground, the hydrogen fuel cells would be lighter, reducing fuel needed to power the aircraft. According to the Airbus website, the water generated as a natural by-product of the hydrogen process would replace the aircraft's water and waste system, further saving weight and reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The Airbus announcement comes at a time during great growth and innovation within the hydrogen fuel cell industry. Companies similar to Airbus in stature, such as FedEx, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble, continue to pursue hydrogen funding and research, bringing increased interest from various industry sectors. With hydrogen innovators such as Plug Power and FuelCell leading the way, utilities have started to enter the fuel cell market, as referenced by an October 1 article in Motley Fool, citing recent agreements between Bloom Energy and Exelon and WGL holdings, stating "clearly, utilities are starting to see some value in getting more involved in the hydrogen fuel cell market."
"Each week it seems that a new company, especially within the industrial sector, announces the intent to pursue hydrogen fuel cell technology," said Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar. "While interest in hydrogen for consumer-use such as automobile power continues to grow, we are also seeing interest generated across industrial and commercial sectors. We view this demand as a significant market opportunity for HyperSolar. As these technologies are developed and implemented, we are confident that our potential role of providing cost-efficient renewable hydrogen at or near the point of distribution will fill a market niche needed to support infrastructure and satisfy the big brands converting to hydrogen fuel technology."
HyperSolar's technology is based on the concept of developing a low-cost, submersible hydrogen production particle that can split water molecules using sunlight without any other external systems or resources -- acting as artificial photosynthesis. A video of an early proof-of-concept prototype can be viewed at http://hypersolar.com/application.php.