Electrochemical Energy Systems for Electrified Aircraft Propulsion: Batteries and Fuel Cell Systems Online

In this course, participants will learn about Electro-chemical Energy Systems (EES), with an emphasis on electrified aircraft propulsion and power applications. The course will present the fundamentals in chemistry, materials science, electrical, and mechanical engineering for various EESs including high voltage battery systems (Li-ion and beyond) and fuel cells (PEM, solid oxide fuel cells, and others). The challenges of each EES option will be examined as it applies to aircraft electrification, including:
  • Specific energy, efficiency, electrical, thermal, mechanical integration, operating conditions, and other technical considerations
  • Inherent hazards, risk severity, and available mitigation strategies
  • Ground handling, operations / maintenance, and recharging / refueling
  • Economics, life cycle considerations, infrastructure requirements, and certification challenges
Learning Objectives
To understand:
  • The intended application: Electrified propulsion and power (high level) and what is needed to make a successful EES for aircraft
  • The technology: Discuss the inner workings and the ‘balance of plant’ associated with battery and fuel cell systems
  • The challenges: Look at the limitations, failure modes, and inherent risks for batteries / fuel cells and supporting subsystems in the context of flight / ground operations
  • The outlook and outcomes: Consider the technological advancements that will be needed for the future, the quantitative environmental and economic impacts on aviation, the conceptual change to aircraft operations for end-users, and current government, industry, and regulatory activities
  • [Detailed Outline Below]
Who Should Attend
  • This course is intended for technology and management professionals, students, and policymakers who want to understand EES technology fundamentals as well as their unique design and safety considerations and limitations in the context of electrified aircraft propulsion and power.
Course Information:

Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Length: 2 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes

1. Lecture 1 – Introduction / Overview:
  • This module will introduce concepts of aircraft electrification with respect to electrochemical energy system: batteries and fuel cells.
  • A high level overview and comparison of different battery chemistries (including Li-ion, Li-Metal, Li-S, Li-Air, solid state Lithium, Sodium-ion) and fuel cell types (including Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), alkaline, direct methanol, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide) will be presented.
  • High level trades and analyses, design, integration, operations, and safety considerations, and technology limitations will also be discussed.
2. Lectures 2 to 4: Batteries and Battery Systems:
  • Li-based battery cell components, material properties, processes, performance, and challenges.
  • Pack considerations, battery management systems, thermal management, charging / discharging (rates and state of charge limits), and effect of different operating / environmental conditions.
  • Cell-level risks / failure drivers, abuse conditions, thermal runaway (hazardous venting, propagation, fire, explosion), high voltage risks, aging / degradation, and environmental considerations.
  • Quality / control assurance, mitigations, protections / controls, containment, and regulations.
3. Lectures 5 to 7 – Fuel Cells and Fuel Cell Systems:
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell components, fuels, material properties, processes, and challenges.
  • PEM stack considerations, electrical subsystem, fuel processing (including options for hydrocarbon fuel reformation or partial oxidation), air processing, water and thermal management, systems integration, durability, operational / environmental factors, and overall system efficiency.
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) components, fuels, material properties, processes, stack level considerations, and challenges.
4. Lecture 8 – Charging / Fueling Infrastructure and Summary
  • Hydrogen as an energy carrier: properties, generation, storage, forms (liquid or gaseous), and safety considerations.
  • Infrastructure requirements for charging / fueling, life cycle considerations (sourcing, manufacturing, operation, recycling / repurposing, and disposal), economics, and certification for aviation.
  • Summary: Course recap, future considerations, and wrap-up.

Ms. Natesa MacRae is a senior researcher at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). She has worked as a systems engineer for over 20 years in a variety of industries, including terrestrial / space robotics and aviation, from mission systems design through to acceptance testing. She later joined the NRC’s Aerospace Research Center (ARC) as a Control Systems Engineer and has been responsible for the industrial controls for many of the NRC Gas Turbine Laboratory’s premiere combustion and engine performance, operability, icing, and altitude test facilities. She received her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree at McGill University (1998) and while working full time, received her Master of Engineering (2004) from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Ms. MacRae is presently a member of NRC Low Carbon Technologies group, and is focused on hybrid-electric propulsion aircraft and energy systems de-carbonisation research, including system level modeling, simulation, systems integration, and testing for stationary and aviation battery and fuel cell system applications. Ms. MacRae has also led multiple clean aviation infrastructure development projects including the systems design and commissioning of a large scale Hydrogen Supply Facility and the electrical upgrade of an engine test cell for battery electric powertrain testing. She is the chair of the NRC’s Sustainable Aviation Working Group, a member of the NRC’s Hybrid Electric Aircraft Testbed ground test team, and is an active member of the AIAA Electrified Aircraft Technologies Technical Committee.

Mr. Erik J. Spek is Chief Engineer for TÜV SÜD Canada with technical responsibility for battery, electric vehicle and charging systems verification and testing services in North America. He is also the global Senior Product Specialist for TÜV SÜD for batteries. He received degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada. His industrial Experience includes TÜV SÜD Canada, Managing Director at Aloxsys Inc., Chief Engineer at Magna International, Manager of Engineering and Operations at ABB Advanced Battery Systems and Director of Engineering at Powerplex Technologies Inc. He was a member of the ABB sodium sulfur battery team that provided 38 kWh battery packs for the Ford Ecostar program.

Mr. Spek is a Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada, a member of SAE since 1980 and a Certified Manufacturing Engineer in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He has authored and co-authored papers on sodium sulfur battery development, Lithium Ion battery testing and safety and has written articles on battery technologies for Batteries International, Charged and Penton Media. He is an SAE seminar leader on battery technology and safe handling of high voltage batteries and has delivered over 100 seminars to the energy storage industry, academia, government and other institutions. He has contributed to conferences on battery product standardization and has presented at conferences including AABC (Advanced Automotive Batteries Conference), The Novi Battery Show, SAE New Energy Vehicles Conference (Shanghai), Battery Safety Conference and IEEE PSES and ITEC. He is a subject matter expert and member of the Standards Council of Canada. He is one of the authors of Li-Battery Safety, an Elsevier published book. He leads TUV SUD’s R&D activities to support battery and electric vehicle standards development and contributes to standards development for SAE International and IEC, He is an authorized TÜV SÜD witness for UN ECE R100 and UN ECE R136 type tests for EU battery certification.

Dr. Dacong Weng is a Principal R&D Engineer at Honeywell Aerospace. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (1996) for high temperature PEM fuel cell studies. Dr. Weng has over 25 years of experience in the research and development of fuel cell power system, from membrane electrode assembly (MEA) development, PEM and SOFC stack design, to fuel cell power system integration. As a member of Advanced Technology group at Honeywell Aerospace, his recent activities include air and thermal management systems design and analysis, cabin air quality studies, aircraft fuel cell and safety management system studies, and support of International Space Station (ISS) internal thermal control system and space life support system.

Dr. Weng is a member of SAE, and an active member of the SAE AE-7AFC /EUROCAE WG 80 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Standardization Working Group. He has authored and co-authored papers on high temperature polymer electrolyte development, high performance PEM fuel cell bipolar plates, PEM fuel cell and SOFC stack development, regenerative PEM fuel cell system, and has been awarded 21 US patents in the area of PEM fuel cell and SOFC power systems, adjustable sensor/sensor network, and gas/liquid contact and separation systems.


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