ULEMCo to convert aircraft towing vehicles


ULEMCo, the British pioneer of hydrogen fuel, announces the launch of its collaboration with Teesside International Airport, RAF Leeming and Newcastle University, which will expand the adoption of hydrogen fuel in another type of specialized vehicle: the ground support vehicles for airports. The ZeHyDA (Zero Emission Hydrogen Demonstration for Airport Applications) project will convert a basic aircraft tug into an electric hybrid powered by a 100% zero-emission hydrogen combustion engine. This will demonstrate the significant reduction in CO2 emissions that can be obtained from these hard working vehicles.

Image Credit: ULEMCo

This is the company’s first mobile application of the zero-emission hydrogen engine technology it announced in 2019, when it was tested for static generators. The project will allow the engine to operate with an electric transmission system and be demonstrated as part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Center in ground support vehicles, alongside work to assess the possibilities more broad use of hydrogen at airports and in the region.

Along with the conversion activity, ULEMCo will perform laboratory testing of a large engine conversion that will fit the 7.5 ton ground support trucks that also operate at airports. This will be part of a demonstration of the flexibility of hydrogen combustion technologies and their ability to decarbonize a wide range of heavy vehicle applications in a cost effective manner. The tests, evaluated with the collaboration of the University of Newcastle, will show that an engine of this size can be configured to meet the requirements of the actual duty cycle of the application, while producing no emissions harmful to the quality of the engine. the air. This is essential to achieve both zero carbon emissions and reduce the impact of combustion engines on health.

We are delighted to be able to capitalize on the success of our 100% hydrogen static generator set engine with this mobile vehicle. Airport ground support vehicles are yet another niche application that can benefit from decarbonization using hydrogen, without the delay in building a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.

Amanda Lyne, Executive Director, ULEMCo.

After celebrating our 80’se anniversary this year, we want Teesside International Airport to continue not only to provide a brilliant experience for our passengers, but also to spearhead new initiatives and be at the forefront of airport innovationTees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said. “The conversion of our ground support vehicles to hydrogen will help strengthen our clean energy credentials as part of the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, maintain local air quality and boost UK net zero ambitions.

Image Credit: ULEMCo

The RAF is very excited to participate in this groundbreaking investigation into how hydrogen might play a role in supporting the RAF and the broader MOD ambitions and goals to reduce our transportation emissions.Said Gp Capt Maurice Dixon of RAF Leeming. “This will be important as we explore technologies to move to zero emission vehicle fleets, become more fuel resilient, and understand the potential operational benefits and challenges of using hydrogen. This project is a key part of the broader RAF Net Zero strategy and program of activities: lessons learned and recommendations will be shared within the MOD.”

Decarbonizing transport requires an ambitious approach from industry, government and academia. The University will bring its cutting-edge expertise to answer research questions and knowledge gaps resulting from the introduction of hydrogen at RAF Leeming and Teesside International Airport.

Phil Blythe, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems, University of Newcastle and former Chief Science Advisor at the Department of Transport


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