The H2 Clipper presents a very compelling argument to bring back the highly controversial technology, saying that large electric airships that rise and run on green hydrogen are ready to transport huge loads over long distances, much faster than cargo ships, opening domestic logistics facilities with minimal land. infrastructure, and do it all with zero emissions.
We are talking about cargo loads up to 340,000 pounds (150,000 kg – or the equivalent of about 115 Toyota Corollas), distances up to 6,000 miles (9,650 km, or about the distance between Los Angeles and Barcelona), with a cruising speed of more than 175 miles per hour (280 km / h, or just under one-third the speed of a Dreamliner passenger plane – but 7-10 times faster than a cargo ship).
It’s an incredibly compelling set of numbers, especially considering the cost; The H2 Clipper claims it will cost a quarter of what air travel costs per tonne of miles today, making it an economically destructive way to move bulk cargo, as well as the ability to decarbonise transcontinental logistics operations.
Of course, hydrogen airships have a small reputation, thanks to the tragic and compelling footage of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937. But as we discussed when we first profiled H2 Clipper technologythere are many reasons why people could pick up the wrong message from this incident, including some rather disgusting turtles from helium lobbyists.
As hydrogen is gaining momentum as a next-generation clean aviation fuel, there is a strong argument to ask why it cannot also be used as a cheap, environmentally friendly propellant to open up these types of clean cargo capabilities with minimal, if any, risk to human life.
In 2021, the H2 Clipper was accepted into the 3D Experience Dassault Systems Lab Accelerator program, giving this small company the opportunity to use advanced modeling and development tools to refine its design. The company has completed simulated wind tunnel tests using computational hydrodynamics (CFD), confirming ultra-low drag aerodynamics and giving some weight to estimating the company’s fuel combustion and operating costs.
At this stage, the company plans to create a prototype by 2025, and in 2028 to launch a full-size hydrogen airship. It’s still a risky game for investors; The FAA is currently banning hydrogen as a propellant. But billions of dollars worth of environmental hydrogen projects are emerging around the world, so hydrogen itself has a lobbying group like never before.
In this context, one interesting option for using hydrogen airships is to move the green hydrogen itself; The H2 Clipper says these aircraft will overtake railways, cargo, ships and even pipelines at a price for the export of hydrogen moving any distance over 1,000 miles (1,600 km). These “pipelines in the sky” will also be as green as the bulk hydrogen they move, which will add additional benefits to which exporters of clean H2 may be willing to take the risk.
You can watch the 20-minute presentation of the H2 Clipper at the First International Hydrogen Aviation Conference in September 2020 in the video below.
H2 Clipper Presentation (1st International Hydrogen Aviation Conference, September 2020) Updated video
Source: H2 Clipper
A prototype cargo airship with zero hydrogen emissions is scheduled for 2025
Source link A prototype cargo airship with zero hydrogen emissions is scheduled for 2025