Pochari Systems is designing, manufacturing and commercializing the world’s first highly compact ammonia cracker to produce hydrogen on demand from liquid ammonia for hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles.
The cracker uses 4% wt Ruthenium and 20% wt Cesium promoted carbon nanotube supported catalysts in a microchannel configuration.
cracker specifications are based on Engelbrecht and Chiuta 2018,
Chiuta and Everson 2015 and 2016, Di Carlo and Vecchione 2014, and
Hill and Murciano 2014.
The activation energy is as low as 49 kJ/mol of NH3 with high cesium promoter loadings on CNT support, which translates into only 5 KW of heat energy per kg of H2 reformed per hour, allowing for over 100% of the required energy for decomposition being provided by exhaust heat from the engine.
The amount of ruthenium and cesium needed is very minimal, only 1 gram 5 grams respectively is required to reform 1 kg of hydrogen per hour at the desired efficiency and power density.
Cesium is critical in the cracking process as it allowes high conversion of ammonia at lower exhaust temperatures, minimzing unburned ammonia emissions.
Cesium reserves are estimated to be 84,000 tons, with Ruthenium reserves 11,300 tons, since 5x more cesium is used than Ruthenium, the reserves allow for the production of billions of medium-sized car crackers.
half of the cost of the cracker is found in manufacturing, with the
balance comprising raw materials.
Forming the microchannels from a solid metal block is performed by wire electrical discharge machining.
and packing of the catalyst inside these tiny grooves completes the
manufacturing process of a microreactor. Microreactor technology can
be thought of as relatively simple compared to battery manufacturing
as an example. The only complexities and difficulties arise from the
very small dimensions
These small dimensions found in microreactors (as little as 0.15 mm x 0.25 mm) requires elaborate and costly machinery to fabricate, but nonetheless, the cost of the cracker will be approximately $1000-2000 per kg-hour of capacity at high production volumes, of which 50% represents material costs at current raw material market prices.
The ammonia cracker is located on the exhaust manifold for hydrogen combustion engines, utilizing engine exhaust heat supplying 100% of cracker energy needs, with hydrogen combustion providing the balance.
The volume of the ammonia cracker for 12 kg/hr, sufficient for the average fuel flow used by a class-8 semi-truck fully loaded at highway speed, takes up only 6 liters, and weighs less than 10 kg!
The cracker is configured in a modular fashion. The modules consist of a housing, each consisting of a stack of microchannel plates. The module is placed directly outside of each exhaust outlet on the cylinder head, allowing the very hot exhaust gas to pass directly into the microchannels before cooling down. This allows heating the catalyst bed to provide the necessary activation energy. Each module is connect to four rails, supplying both gaseous ammonia to the cracker, and passing reform gas to the purifier. The two smaller rails provide air and hydrogen to provide heat during startup.
Reactor type: Micro-channel
Catalyst: 4% Wt Ru, 20% Wt Cs promoted on CNT
Total catalyst mass per kg hour H2 reformed: 25 grams
Ru Catalyst required per Kg hour H2 reformed: 1 grams
Ce Catalyst promoter per Kg hour H2 reformed: 5 grams
Gravimetric density: 0.50 kg/kg H2-hr
Volumetric density: 0.5 L/kg H2-hr
Energy consumption: 5.5-6 kw/kg H2-hr
Percent of reforming energy from exhaust heat: 100%
Additional hydrogen consumed for dissociation: 0% of fuel flow
Ammonia hydrogen density: 103 kg/m3
Ammonia consumption: 6 kg liquid NH3/kg H2-hr
Startup time: 10 minutes
Cost per kg hr capacity: $2000
Ruthenium price: $8000/kg
Cesium price: $30,000/kg
Carbon nanotube price per kg: $10,000
Hydrogen aircraft propulsion
The 21st century demands an updated and improved aviation propulsion technology. For over 70 years, kerosene has proven itself safe, reliable, efficient, and most importantly, energy-dense.
Hydrocarbons, being abundant, easy to store, and easily combusted in gas turbines, have resulted in the tremendous aviation industry we have today.
Current hydrocarbon aircraft can suffice, providing sufficient payload and range for most missions, only in special occasions is more capability required. Pochari Hydrogen believes the long-range light business jet is an aircraft category that requires a more powerful and modern propulsion system.
We are rapidly approaching a turning point in aviation history. Efforts to improve aviation propulsion are reaching a wall. Efforts to squeeze every last few percentages points of efficiency in turbines are proving increasingly difficult. The gas turbine’s maximum practically attainable efficiency is around 40%, going above this number is nearly impossible. Efforts to improve aerodynamics have also reached the point of diminishing returns. Reducing airframe weight through the use of composites, mainly carbon fiber, has yielded very minimal reductions in airframe mass, in the order of 5-10%. Thus so far we can state that aviation propulsion and airframe design has reached its peak in terms of technological maturity, there is almost nothing left to do to improve aircraft capability, at least nothing currently considered in the aviation industry.
In summary, we have reached the point of diminishing returns.
If little to nothing remains to improve in the powerplant, airframe aerodynamics, or even the fundamentally design itself, we must begin identifying a superior fuel.
Quite surprisingly, there remains a mysterious, obscure, and powerful propellent, the most powerful of any fuel known to man, that attracts little to no attention in aviation circles, this fuel is nothing other than liquid hydrogen as proposed by G. Daniel Brewer in the late 1970s in Burbank, California, and revived by Christophe Pochari in 2018.
Liquid hydrogen is the most powerful fuel available on earth, with gravimetric energy density unmatched by any other fuel, hydrogen’s only downside compared to hydrocarbon is its low volumetric density, but this proves not to be the least bit of a limitation for subsonic flight. For subsonic flight at high altitude, the dominant form of drag is skin friction, a 20-foot diameter airliner fuselage section (Boeing 787) with a total wetted area of 9500 square feet is only subjected to 4400 lbf of drag with an air density of 3.5 Psi and a cruise speed of 560 mph. (http://www.lissys.demon.co.uk). This small amount of drag present in subsonic flight allows us to store ample quantities of hydrogen while adding minimal drag, provided we choose a configuration with the lowest possible surface/volume ratio.
The turbine powerplant itself remains nearly identical, having only slightly modified combustors designed to take advantage of hydrogen’s much higher flame speed. “Hydrogen is a beautiful fuel for turbines” -Willis Hawkins.
Vaporized or liquid hydrogen is delivered from the LH2 tank to the turbine with aluminum piping from dual high-speed centrifugal liquid hydrogen pumps directly attached to the rear of the tank. The boil-off rate in cruise is nearly half of the cruise fuel flow, the difference is provided by vaporizing liquid hydrogen in the fuel supply line or combusting it liquid.
An electric heater maintains a certain vaporization rate to maintain 20 psi in the tank on the ground, and 15 psi during cruise, if the pressure exceeds this, the tank is vented.
Liquid hydrogen can also be combusted directly in the turbine just as gaseous hydrogen can. During takeoff, when the fuel flow required is at a much higher rate than the natural boil-off, the electric heater is turned up to increase the vaporization rate to maintain pressure, shortly after, when fuel flow is reduced to cruise level, the heat is turned down. Turbine compressor bleed air is cooled by the -423 degree LH2, through a light-weight aluminum heat exchanger. Thisallow for higher turbine inlet temperature, and reduced compressor bleed air mass flow, reducing compressor work require, this contributes to a 5% reduction in SFC (Brewer, G. D, 1991)
The total ratio of SFC is reduced by 2.93x over the 2.8x difference from the calorific value difference alone. (Brewer, G. D, 1991)
The liquid tanks are integral with the fuselage. The fuselage material is made of carbon fiber, the tank material is aluminum-lithium, fastened directly to the carbon fiber fuselage with adhesive. 12.7mm of insulation is placed between the carbon fiber skin and aluminum tank wall. Foam insulation is blown inside the frame and between the frame-wall seams where the vacuum panels end. Tank boil-off is 5% per hour on the ground. A specially designed fuel truck connects a flexible hose to the tank when the aircraft is on the ground to vent the boil-off, keeping tank pressure at 21 psi. Hydrogen aircraft are fueled just before take-off, to minimize losses.
The higher energy density of hydrogen allows for a dramatic increase in aircraft range, exactly what business aircraft need. With our hydrogen propulsion system, a 35,000 lb GW aircraft can fly up to 9000 miles non-stop with a 2700 lb payload, whereas the comparable class kerosene-fueled aircraft can only fly 4700 miles, if it were to attempt to fly the equivalent kerosene-fueled aircraft, the fuel load would exceed the useful load by 160%.
Willis Hawkins (C-130 designer) and a strong proponent of hydrogen aircraft, argued nearly a doubling of range is easily achieved with liquid hydrogen propulsion, this turns out to be exactly correct.
There are two fundamental ways to design a hydrogen-powered aircraft, depending on the incentives and aircraft capability required.
The first way is to essential reconfigure existing aircraft types to hydrogen propulsion, by incorporating an in-fuselage tank. This can be done by simply stretching the fuselage, without needing a design an entirely new clean-sheet aircraft. This design may not necessary increase range or payload, since the tank capacity may be limited by the fuselage volume. This type of hydrogen aircraft design would fly approximately the same distance and carry the same payload as kerosene aircraft. The rational to develop this type of hydrogen aircraft would mainly be emission and environmental impact reduction. The only emission from hydrogen combustion in properly designed gas turbine engines is minimal nitrogen oxides, less than 50 ppm. No CO2, CO, PM or any other emission is produced.
The second way to design a hydrogen aircraft is to tailor the design around hydrogen’s improved range capability. This is the option that makes the most sense, as it takes advantage of hydrogen’s superiority as a propellent, allowing the designer to create an aircraft specifically tailored to utilize hydrogen’s enormous performance benefits. Our design is what we term a “flying rocket” which refers to the hydrogen tanking up 85% of the of the aircraft’s volume. This aircraft dubbed the “flying rocket” is a light-jet, under 35,000 lbs gross weight, designed to fly almost 9000 miles (17 hours of flight time) non-stop while carrying a 2500 lb payload, which translates into 6 persons, two pilots, and ample luggage capacity. This ultra-long-range in a relatively small aircraft can only be accomplished with hydrogen, no hydrocarbon fuel possesses the gravimetric energy density. Hydrogen’s outstanding properties as a propellent allow for the creation of an entirely new class of aircraft, that is the small ultra-long-range jet, previously impossible with hydrocarbon fuel.
Hydrogen is a far superior, for more powerful propellant for all aircraft alike, but it improves the capability of smaller aircraft even more. Since lift to drag ratios decrease with size, and specific fuel consumption increases, smaller aircraft gain more from high energy density of the fuel, these two factors have the most influence on how much an aircraft improves with hydrogen. As G. D Brewer said, “the more energy required to perform the mission, the greater the advantage to be gained by using a high energy fuel”
Six factors that determine the performance increase with hydrogen.
#1 L/D ratio
#2 Powerplant SFC
#3 Desired endurance
#4 EW/GW ratio
#5 Tank parasitic drag penalty
#6 Tank surface/volume ratio (Blended wing body aircraft (BWB) or flying wings unsuited for hydrogen propulsion, since multiple small tanks are required)
Hydrogen aircraft propulsion FAQ
#1 Why has no one done this before?
For three reasons.
#1 kerosene remained extremely cheap up until the 21st century, discouraging the development of alternatives, that is hydrogen, despite the performance gains attainable. The price of kerosene still remains under $2/gal, thus we are strongly incentivized to use hydrogen from low-cost energy sources, mainly hydropower, with the lowest levelized cost of $0.85 cents/kwh. Liquefaction adds $1/kg, electrolyzer CAPEX is $0.50/kg, in total we can confidently state hydrogen can be produced for $2/kg for from clean sources, and $1/kg from waste or coal gasification.
#2 The aerospace industry is highly conservative, and unwilling to experiment with unproven technology, capital investment requirements are often very high, and with certification costs, it may take 10 or more years to fully recuperate the development costs, disincentivizing the development of new propulsion technology, especially “unproven” ones.
#3 Most experts in the aerospace industry are not even aware of this obscure and forgotten propulsion technology, G. Daniel Brewer’s book remains in complete obscurity. Prior to Christophe Pochari’s efforts to revive Brewer’s ideas, virtually no attention was paid to hydrogen. Quoting Allan Epstein from Pratt and Whitney “no one has been able to store hydrogen at less than 10% hydrogen by weight, the rest is the tank” His comment summarizes the stance of the current aviation establishment, and indicates the broader industry being almost completely unaware of G. Daniel Brewer’s work and research, of which is freely available on the internet.
#2 Is it safe?
Safety concerns are likely to arise as an argument against a hydrogen propulsion system. Hydrogen will combust at a significantly higher rate than Kerosene. An Ignition source is most likely to occur as a result of a hard impact from a crash. The minimum ignition of energy (MIE) of hydrogen and kerosene is well below even the lowest level impact force that would cause an ignition. In other words, a violent impact, lightning strike, engine failure, foreign object damage, drone strike, or an onboard fire, will ignite kerosene just as easily as liquid hydrogen. A sufficiently violent impact will cause a fracture in the fuel tank regardless of whether it is hydrogen or kerosene. The only major difference will be the manner in which hydrogen will detonate compared to kerosene. Kerosene will detonate, and then slowly burn in a deflagrative manner. Hydrogen will almost immediately detonate completely leaving no residual fuel to burn. G. Daniel Brewer was firm in his belief that hydrogen-fueled aircraft would be significantly SAFER than kerosene-fueled aircraft, thanks to the high flame speed of hydrogen, long periods of deflagration upon impact inherent to jet fuel is no longer an issue with hydrogen, allowing more time for passengers to escape.
#3 Is it really possible to double the range?
This all boils down to how smart the designer is.
If the designer chooses a tank with a fuselage integral tank with a low surface/volume ratio, then yes the designer can realize tremendous increases in range, doubling is realistic with the same payload as the max range under kerosene.
#4 How do we plan on actually building a jet, is that something only large corporations can do?
Our company is a design and innovation company, led by its founder Christophe Pochari, who is solely credited with reviving and bringing back Daniel Brewer’s work to the mainstream of aerospace propulsion. Our company will use established aerospace manufacturers to carry out the manufacturing and assembly in China and India, Pochari Hydrogen provides only the basic design and idea, albeit a revolutionary and game-changing idea. Our main goal is to promote this technology and idea, and find people with the necessary manufacturing capability.
Computational fluid dynamics is done with Patrick Hanley’s Stallion 3D, Patrick Hanley is a follower of Christophe Pochari on Twitter. Composite fuselage design and fabrication is done in China. Powerplants, small turbofans, are built in house using turbomachinery parts from Shandong Yili Power technology LTD. The turbofan is based off the proven all centrifugal compressor PW100 turboprop architecture, converted to a turbofan.
#5 What are the main differences between hydrogen and jet-fueled aircraft?
The powerplant differences are minimal.
The combustors are slightly different for hydrogen fuel, the principle difference is they are significantly shortened. Nothing in the powerplant itself changes except the fuel delivery system changes. Liquid hydrogen is pumped from the tank with two high-speed centrifugal pump, then the liquid hydrogen flows through the supply line to the engine vaporizing along the way and subsequently raising the gas pressure until reaching 150 psi where it is injected in the combustor. A separation between the low-pressure liquid tank and the higher pressure gaseous hydrogen is required, dual centrifugal pumps provide this separation.
The liquid hydrogen pump is placed right outside the rear of the tank towards the end of the aircraft, the pump is mounted directly to the tank, the second pump adjacent to the first pump, the higher pressure liquid is then routed to the engine in small diameter aluminum piping, serving essentially as a makeshift heat exchanger to vaporize until sufficient pressure is reached. Only a certain margin above the combustion chamber pressure is required, this is in the range of 100-200 psi.
#2 Airframe and aircraft architecture.
The main difference with the airframe and fuselage is the integration of the liquid hydrogen tank. The fuselage is designed with an optimal surface/volume ratio, enabling sufficient volume to store the liquid hydrogen necessary to perform ultra-long-range missions.
The basic aircraft architecture remains identical.
The architecture is a pressurized tubular fuselage with a low wing monoplane configuration with a T-tail with rear-mounted engines. The center of gravity is not altered, in fact the elevator authority is increased due to the longer fuselage. The only possible disadvantage to hydrogen aircraft is reduced agility due to the larger fuselage, which makes the aircraft “fatter” resulting in more drag, which impairs agility, business jets are not fighter jets, smooth flight characteristics are desired, so this is not an issue.
#3 Fuel containment and tank design
Tank design is arguably most critical element of a hydrogen aircraft.
We want to maintain the lowest pressure possible in the tank, to reduce stresses on the tank wall skin, but we also need to achieve sufficiently high pressure to overcome the pressure inside the combustor through vaporizing liquid hydrogen pumped from the tank. To reduce tank wall stress, the fuselage-tank section is pressurized to 11 psi, while maintaining 21 psi in the tank. In the absence of pressurization, significantly more stress is imposed on the thinner less strong aluminum tank wall. By pressurizing the tank-fuselage section, we transfer the majority of the pressure differential stresses to the stronger carbon fiber skin.
The fuselage-tank section is comprised of a 3mm thick outer skin, made of Toray T1100 carbon fiber, a spacing to separate the insulation from the skin and the tank.
The carbon fiber is sheltered from the low-temperature tank and insulation by a layer of air. The monocoque structure comprised of the outer carbon fiber skin and aluminum tank results in an extremely rigid fuselage-tank section.
The tank is fastened to the outer skin with high strength epoxy, no mechanical fasteners are used. Stringers are bonded to the carbon fiber skin, then to the aluminum tanking, forming a fully integral tank structure.
Carbon fiber, although much stronger than aluminum, is not attractive for continuous use at cryogenic temperatures, carbon fiber becomes brittle at low temperature, microcracks can also develop due to the differential in the coefficient of thermal expansion of the individual fibers. In addition, most resins used to bond composites become brittle at low temperature. Thus metal is the most attractive, among the different alloys available, aluminum-lithium provides the highest specific strength, or commonly referred to as strength-weight ratio. Aluminum-lithium is higher even than titanium, the second most attractive option for tank wall material. Aluminum lithium 2195 actually becomes stronger at cryogenic temperatures.
The insulation is placed directly on the outside of the aluminum tank. Vacuum panels insulation, comprised of a membrane wall, used to prevent air from entering the panel, a panel of a rigid, highly-porous material, such as fumed silica, aerogel, perlite or glass fiber, to support the membrane walls against atmospheric pressure once the air is evacuated. These panels manufactured by NanoPore Incorporated, Albuquerque, NM, provide the lowest thermal conductivity with the lowest weight. The thermal conductivity, when accounting for the extremely low surface temperature when the tank is full of liquid hydrogen on the ground, can be as low 0.0025 W/m-K. These vacuum panels provide lower thermal conductivity to mass ratios than S-180 spray-foam insulation. The vacuum panels are specially formed to take the shape of the tank, and fit between the frames/stringers. Foam is sprayed around the seams and inside the frame volume, minimizing thermal bridging.
In summary, the tank is actually very simple and based on mature and proven technology and structural configurations. The insulation is light-weight and provides manageable boil-off when the aircraft is not in flight. The weight of the entire fuselage-tank section weighs 1.18 lbs/ft3. This translates into 2700 lbs for a 4700 kg tank, providing nearly 17 hours of flight time, or 8700 miles. The additional drag (Flat plate drag based solely on wetted area) from the 1200 square foot wetted area is 0.46 lbf/ft2, resulting in 550 lbs of additional thrust required, resulting in a fuel burn of 58 kg/hr, 22% higher than without the hydrogen tank, this reduces the L/D from 17 to 13.2, approximately the same that G. D Brewer found. This calculation is very easy to perform, simply by taking the total zero-lift drag and dividing by the wetted area, then multiplying by the wetted area increase.
main focus is the development of an ultra-long-range light business
jet, but many other types of aircraft would benefit tremendously from
hydrogen propulsion, mainly narrow-body airliners and
In the case of a narrow-body airliner, such as an A319, we could extend the range with an acceptable payload from 3300 miles to over 7600 miles, allowing small narrow-body aircraft to fly much more profitable transpacific routes. This would give airlines the option to purchase a more affordable and smaller aircraft, that can land and operate from smaller airports with lower landing fees. Another benefit of narrow-body aircraft is it’s much easier to fully occupy the aircraft in a shorter period, allowing for higher and more profitable utilization. In summary, this narrow-body would give airlines a viable alternative to wide-bodies for transpacific flights.
Helicopters could be designed to fly longer range offshore oil and gas missions, or fly similar distance with more payload.
The main application of civilian helicopters is off-shore oil/gas, which currently suffers from depressed activity, when this improves, Pochari Hydrogen will begin designing a hydrogen-powered 10,000 lb class rotorcraft for long-range missions. Currently, the longest range civilian rotorcraft is the Leonardo AW139, capable of flying 750 miles with a sufficient payload to carry 15 oil and gas workers, we can improve this to 1400 miles.
The third type of aircraft would be a supersonic business or passenger jet.
This type of aircraft was demonstrated to the most attractive application of liquid hydrogen by Daniel Brewer (1975), but more recent analysis from computational fluid dynamics, and better understanding of wave drag, may result in this not being entirely correct.
The reason is simple, at supersonic speeds, a turbofan engine cannot function, a turbojet or very low-bypass turbofan is required, typically these engines have much higher specific fuel consumption, typically over 1 lb-lbf-hr, instead of 0.70 lb-lbf-hr for subsonic turbofans. As a result, the higher fuel consumption adds up the course of the flight, resulting in the fuel load fraction being much higher, incentivizing to a greater degree the use of a higher energy fuel.
But there’s a caveat, as we previously illustrated, in subsonic flight, the airliner fuselage, 20 feet in diameter, with a wetted area of 9500 square feet, is only subjected to 4400 lbf, but in supersonic flight, this is increased tremendously, to 80,000 lbf (Bjorn, Fehrm, 2018).
The source of drag changes from subsonic to supersonic, skin friction is no longer the dominant form of drag, rather, wave drag appears, in great magnitude. This necessitates a much higher fineness ratio, forcing us to reduce the fuselage diameter, and elongate the fuselage, the goal is minimizing the frontal area as much as possible to minimize wave drag, the theoretically lowest wave drag shape is a Sears/Haack body. The “area rule” “Whitcomb rule” is also critical for minimizing wave drag, but since this forces the designer to reduce the thickness of the fuselage to accommodate the increasing frontal area of the wing, this means our hydrogen tank is forced to be smaller.
In supersonic flight, the ideal fineness ratio is over 20, for subsonic, it’s only 4. (Roskam, Jan, 2017). The low ideal fineness ratio allows for very low surface/volume ratio LH2 tanks, reducing weight and wetted area penalty.
The total drag penalty in supersonic flight is much higher, and not fully compensated by the additional fuel consumption. As a result, supersonic aircraft powered by hydrogen will provide a smaller advantage over kerosene.
The fourth applications is defense-related, mainly long-endurance fixed-wing UAVs, such as Predator drone type aircraft, an increase in the flight-endurance of 100% could be more than attainable. The second defense application would long-range bombers and strategic air-lifters, allowing for more payload and flight endurance in the case of bombers.
These defense aircraft are obviously out of the development scope of small civilian aircraft manufacturers, but nonetheless remains very promising business opportunities. Daniel Brewer (1991) argued liquid hydrogen was extremely promising for military aircraft.
35,000 lb GW multi-purpose ultra-long range light jet with liquid hydrogen propulsion
GW: 35,000 lbs
EW: 19,300 lbs
EW/GW fraction: 55%
Max L/D cruise: 13.2, 22% lower than Jet Fuel equavelant.
Overall length: 76′
Cabin length: 12′
Cabin height: 5′
Cabin volume: 400 ft3
Wing loading: 74 lbs/ft2
Airfoil: Supercritical (NACA)
Useful load: 15,700 lbs
Fuel burn: 263 kg LH2/hr
Cruising altitude: 51,000 feet
LH2 capacity: 4700 kg
LH2 tank weight: 1.2 lbs/ft3: 13,180 lbs system weight total
Range: 17.8 hours, 7800 nmi, 9000 miles
Cruise speed: 440 kts
Additional surface wetted: 1237 ft2, 55% wetted/volume
Drag force FL370: 58 kg/hr (0.46 lbf/ft2/S wt)
Drag force FL450: 47 kg/hr (0.36 lbf/ft2/S wet)
Payload at max range: 2,500 lbs
Passenger capacity: 6
Powerplant: 2x 5500 lbf (take-off) turbofan
Powerplant model: In-house centrifugal compressor single spool, single crystal HP turbine blades (architecture based on PW100 core)
Take-off SFC: 0.407 lb/lbf-hr
Cruise SFC: 0.685 lb/lbf-hr
LH2 Tank material: Aluminum-Lithium 2195
Fuselage material: Toray T1100 Carbon fiber
Tank-fuselage pressurization: 4-7 psi at 51,000 feet.
LH2 tank Insulation: 0.5” 0.0025 W/m-K Nanopore vacuum insulated panels with JFOAM™ S-180 foam filler between frames
Tank boil-off rate on ground: 4.8%/hr
LH2 boil-off on ground: 214 kg/hr
Boil percentage of cruise fuel flow: 55%
Max fuel flow at take-off: 700 kg/hr
Total tank heat flux at ambient temperature: 19,000 BTU/hr
Operating cost: $1600/hr
Runway takeoff distance: 4000 ft
LH2 system weight breakdown in Lbs and percentage
For a 35,000 lb business jet. JET FUEL aircraft L/D: 17 LH2: 13.2. SFC cruise: 0.685 lbs/hr, EW/GW: 55%
Pochari Systems is disrupting the hydrogen production industry by applying “process intensification” technology to steam methane reforming reactors.
Pochari Hydrogen has invented a revolutionary propulsion technology for trucking applications. A zero carbon and zero nitrogen oxide emission powerplant that does not use fuel cells or lithium-ion batteries. This powerplant is called the Pochari closed-cycle hydrogen engine. This closed-cycle power semi-truck will utterly dominate the global trucking industry. The world needs a zero-emission yet affordable powerplant, so far those do not go together: Enter Pochari Hydrogen. More information available here https://pocharihydrogen.com/2019/03/01/closed-cycle-hydrogen-internal-combustion-engine-technology/
Pochari Hydrogen’s CHP701 is the world’s first liquid hydrogen powered turbine helicopter. Development will begin in the early 2020s. Pochari Hydrogen utilizes hydrogen stored in “cryogenic” state in carbon fiber tanks lined with an aluminum liner to minimize permeation. The liquid hydrogen is pumped via a “cryopump” from the liquid tank into a heat exchanger connected to the exhaust pipe from the turboshaft engine. Once the liquid has vaporized it immediately rises in pressure to up to 1000 psi where is it injected into modified combustors designed for hydrogen’s unique combustion characteristics. A small helium tank is used to store sufficient quantities of helium gas that serves as a pressurant. The liquid hydrogen tanks needs to maintain a minimum pressure of approximately 30 psi. Due to the nature of cryogenic systems, a very elaborate insulation system is required to minimize excessive “boil-off”. The insulation used is a state of the art vacuum insulated panel system that is lined around the outside of the tank. The insulation is formed in two large uniform shells that are joined in the middle. The middle seam is sealed with a recessed strip of vacuum panel. The uniform shell design is meant to minimize thermal conductivity by eliminating gaps and seams. The tank is fully “modular” meaning it is detachable and can be easily replaced, refilled and maintained. The modularity also allows for the pilot to release the tank in flight in the case of an emergency event that could lead to an impact violent enough to cause a potential detonation. The tank wall is 0.15″ thick aerospace grade carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The tank is designed as a semi-monocoque structure, providing excellent rigidity. “Bulkheads” or formers are placed every 18″. The tank both suspends from the upper cantilevered structure and bears at the bottom section of the airframe. The tank is attached to the airframe via UHMWPE straps wrapped underneath the insulation. The tank is isolated from the vibrations of the rotorcraft via multiple small air isolation mounts. The tank can be easily released and carried with a special dolly cart. The estimated cost of the modular tanks is $100,000. The tanks have a lifetime of around 4-5 years. A forward facing tank is the ideal configuration to minimize structural weight and to allow clamshell doors in the rear of the aircraft which is highly useful for air medical operations. This unorthodox configuration requires a “virtual” flight control system as the tank is placed directly where the cockpit would be. Since autonomy and remote control appear to be the future, this not a significant issue. Three smaller tanks can be installed externally, under the fuselage, and on both sides similar to auxilary fuel tanks on the UH-60. Pochari Hydrogen has considered this configuration but due to the lower volume/surface ratio (a number very important for cryogenic hydrogen aircraft) is much lower resulting in tanks approximately 30-40% heavier than fuselage mounted tanks. Thus we have concluded this is an unattractive option.
Pochari hydrogen has invented a revolutionary new type of combustion system. Pochari hydrogen believes the hydrogen compression ignition engine is more than feasible. Despite little active research in this field, due to the overwhelming interest in fuel cells or batteries, previous research has found hydrogen compression ignition to be nearly impossible. A compression ratio of 20:1 provides air temperatures up to 450 Celsius, significantly below the 600 Celsius required for hydrogen. Pochari hydrogen has solved this problem with its closed-cycle system, by using Argon, with the same compression ratio, 750 Celsius, providing a sufficient 150-degree margin above the autoignition temperature of hydrogen without needing to increase the compression ratio, allowing standard diesel engines to operate on hydrogen. Despite the sufficient autoignition temperature, there is still one challenge that remains in the way of hydrogen compression ignition. This challenge is rapid pressure rise due to hydrogen’s 7x higher laminar flame velocity. This can be an advantage, since less heat is lost through the cylinder wall, but it can pose challenges to engine design. Modern diesel engines are designed for 2000 psi peak cylinder pressure, with hydrogen this is significantly increased. Another issue is the very low MIE (minimum ignition energy), hydrogen may combust spontaneously prior to TDC, or even in the intake manifold, resulting in sporadic uncontrolled combustion which may cause serious performance and reliability issues. Pochari Hydrogen’s invention solves this problem altogether. Our engine uses an argon- hydrogen mixture in the intake, during the power stroke, a special injector sprays a specific amount of oxygen to fully combustion the hydrogen stoichiometrically, but injecting oxygen gradually to allow smooth combustion. Until oxygen is injected, no combustion can occur, even above its autoignition temperature, the hydrogen will not combust, due to the absence of an oxidizer. In conclusion, this technology utilizes oxygen to achieve and maintain precise combustion control, allowing for perfect stoichiometric combustion of hydrogen and maintaining just enough oxidizer at any given time to achieve smooth and gradual combustion, avoiding a sudden detonation and resultant surge in cylinder pressure inherent to hydrogen combustion.
Pochari Technologies’ has designed a novel and innovative multistage steam turbine. Pochari Technologies’ multi-spool rankine turbogenerator is designed to allow each individual turbine stage to rotate at its own optimal speed reducing losses from turbulence. On a conventional steam turbine, all stages are connected to the main shaft, forcing each turbine stage to rotate at the exact same speed. By freeing each turbine stage to spin freely at its own optimal speed, isentropic efficiency is increased, mainly resulting from optimizing the velocity differential between the airfoil and fluid thereby reducing turbulence inherent to turbomachinery. Studies show that multi-spool compressors raise efficiency by up to 5%. Much research effort has gone into developing multi-spool compressors for gas turbines, results show considerable increases in efficiency. Therefore we believe this concept can be successfully applied to steam turbogenerator technology. Each turbine wheel is connected to an independent axial flux generator. Each subsequent stage will operate at lower speed, so the generator output will progressively decline, so each generator’s electrical capacity is tailored to the specific speed of each turbine stage. A bulk of the electrical output will come from the initial high-speed turbines.
The world desperately needs a more mobile and versatile type of crane for applications that require significantly greater operating radius, unlimited mobility, greater operating flexibility, quick setup and turn around time, and where ground-based cranes simply cannot perform. Situations where the terrain is unlevel, rugged, rocky and unstable, where road access is poor, or situations that require transportation over rivers, lakes, or even over the ocean. Densely wooded areas where trees prohibit road access, highly confined urban areas fully of obstacles, where narrow access prohibiting driving a large crane in, or situations where there is insufficient time to install a permanent tower crane. Prime applications include pre-fabricated modular construction, installing offshore wind turbines, installing wind turbines in mountainous terrain, moving air conditioning units atop a building, pouring concrete in mountainous regions, transporting an excavator atop a high rise building for demolition, transporting shipping containers from ports, installing solar farms, bridge construction, moving large stones from a quarry, mining operations, offshore oil and gas rig construction, or moving large stationary power generators or transformers from rural areas. The aerial crane shines in virtually any situation where heavy objects, building materials, or construction equipment need to moved fast, and most importantly anywhere regardless of terrain conditions. Currently, conventional helicopters are prohibitively expensive to purchase and operate: Enter the Pochari Aerial crane. Designed as a crane, not a manned helicopter, we bypass all of the costly requirements that make helicopters so expensive. By eliminating the pilot, we can remove the entire cockpit section, and the risk of loss of life. In addition, all of the necessary instruments and flight control systems are replaced with a simple remote-control system. By designing the aerial crane to be moved and transported by truck, instead of ferrying over by flying, we can avoid operating over populated areas, eliminating the need for certification. Once again, the aerial-crane is not an aircraft that is certified by government aviation agencies, rather it’s designed as a highly-mobile job site crane. Its operation is strictly limited to construction and work sites, or any job site for that matter which is only occupied by trained personnel, if any time the aerial-crane is going operate over populated areas, all occupants must be evacuated. No ferrying or flying in the airspace is allowed. By eliminating the need for aviation certification, the cost is reduced by an enormous margin. Certifying a helicopter can cost $200,000,000, a huge investment that needs to be recuperated, by charging a large markup on each aircraft above and beyond the bare manufacturing cost. Only certified suppliers can manufacture parts for a certified aircraft. The aerial crane on the hand has none of these requirements, therefore any machine shop in the world can produce parts, allowing very affordable manufacturing of dynamic components, including the main rotor gearbox, turbomachinery, rotor head, and rotor blades. These components are all very simple, manufacturing can be easily performed by non aerospace specialized companies. Any CNC machine shop in the world can machine a rotor grip or epicyclic gear set, relatively easy to machine components. In addition, certified aircraft of course also have to use certified powerplants. An Arriel 1D1, a commonly used helicopter engine, costs $650,000, over $1000/hp. An equivalent non-certified ground-based turbine generator costs only a fraction of this. To manufacture the equivalent turbine in-house using CNC machined centrifugal impellers, and blisk power turbines, can be performed for less than $50,000 for a 700 hp turboshaft. This price difference may at first glance seem to be hard to believe, but upon closer examination it becomes understandable, by eliminating the extremely high safety and performance standards required for passenger-carrying aircraft, manufacturing costs is dramatically reduced. The aerial crane will be sold for only $1,000,000, only twice the cost of the equivalent capacity tower crane. The capacity of the aerial-crane is 10 tons, or 20,000 lbs, 9000 kg. The range without aerial refueling is 50 miles or one hour of operation. That means our aerial crane can carry 10 tons, over 50 miles! The crane can operate for up to 24 hours at a time with aerial refueling provides by an unmanned ducted fan drone. Conventional cranes are nearly made obsolete in the of the aerial crane.
The aerial crane is transported to the jobsite by a specialized truck which serves as a landing platform. If a road is not located nearby, the crane is set up and flown over a non-populated route to the jobsite. The crane itself cannot land on terrain, the reason is landing gear adds a significant amount of weight, therefore we decided to eliminate all on-board landing gear. The crane is required to land directly on the truck-based platform. Once landed on the truck-based platform, the rotor blades can be removed, allowing the main module (power module), consisting of the powerplant, gearbox, driveshaft and flight control system, to be placed flat down and carried on a flatbed truck. Set-up time is less than an hour.
The powerplant consists of 6x in-house developed turboshafts. The compressor is all centrifugal, to reduce cost, as centrifugal compressors are easily machined by any machine shop with a 5 axis CNC. A centrifugal compressor design is much simpler, eliminating stators. The power turbine is a “Blisk” design cast or machined out of Haynes Hastelloy X. A Blisk design reduces cost and complexity by machining or casting the entire unit in one single component, both blades and disc, eliminating the need to machine individual blades and “firtree” in the disk. The mass flow rate is 3.5 kg/sec. Bearings are standard high-speed oil lubricated roller bearings. The turboshaft is rated for 1000 takeoff-horsepower, and 850 continuous. The turboshaft is multi-fuel capable, with both gaseous and liquid fuel combustors available. In regions where liquid natural gas is readily available for low cost, a gaseous version is available. In regions where liquid fuels are inexpensive, diesel fuel is used since no high-altitude gelling requirements are present. Liquid hydrogen is also an available fuel option. The main rotor gearbox includes a bevel gear for the co-axial rotor drive, and epicyclic gears for reduction. The turboshafts are placed around a 4 stage large epicyclic gearbox, providing 250x reduction from 50,000 rpm down to 200 rpm for the main rotor. The rotor system incorporates Pochari Hydrogen’s innovative independent rotor control, where hydraulic pitch-link actuators provide rotor pitch actuation without a swashplate. Hydraulic fluid is transmitted via slip-ring for the lower rotor, and via an on-board hydraulic pump for the upper rotor. All flight controls are fly-by-wire. Each actuator is independently activated electronically via remote control. The second option, which the design team is considering as a simpler solution, is a conventional swashplate rotor pitch actuator system. The main rotor hub is manufactured from lay-up sheets of 300,000 psi T800 Toray aerospace-grade carbon fiber. The main rotor grips are titanium, as well as main rotor shaft. The gearbox housing is Aluminum 7075. The bevel gear and epicyclic gears are made of 4340 steel. The rotor system is semi-articulating, with elastomeric bearings providing lead-lag and flap. The main rotor blades are made of Toray T800 carbon fiber and Nomex honeycomb, with a stainless steel leading edge and straight non-swept tips to reduce manufacturing cost, the blade root is also a basic straight end instead of a narrower root design typically found in modern helicopter rotor blades. with a weight of 250 lbs each. Assembly and prototype testing is performed in Chennai, India, with certain components coming from all over China. Turbomachinery is manufactured in China by Shandong Yili Power Technology Co Ltd. and Zhenjiang Supersoar Machinery Co Ltd.
Cranes will be available for purchase in early 2022. The purchase price is $990,000 for the turbine version, and $800,000 for the electric version. The hourly operating cost is $720/hr for the turbine version, and $330/hr for the electric version.
Specifications: Unmanned heavy lift mobile aerial crane (non-certified experimental) Use over populated areas is strictly prohibited
Crane is designed solely as a heavy lift machine for construction sites and worksites with only trained personnel present.
Powerplant: Gas turbine or fully electric.
Fully Electric corded version for short radius: 500 feet. The electric powerplant consists of 16x 300 hp axial flux electric motors arranged in a stack of four arranged around an epicyclic gearbox horizontally. Three Aluminum alloy 1350 2000 MCM power cables (weighing 3100 lbs, only half the weight carried by the aerial crane) are carried by an intermediate lifter craft 100 ft above the ground-based power unit, the cable then spans from the lifter craft to the aerial crane up to 500 feet. When more radius is needed, the ground power unit can be moved closer, think of the aerial electric crane as a tower crane on wheels.
A gas turbine-powered version for long working radius, 50 miles, 80 km.
Powerplant specifications for turbine version: 6x 800 shp dual centrifugal compressor dual power turbine reverse flow turboshaft. Turbine inlet temperature: 1560 °F
Combustor: Dual-fuel gaseous-liquid reverse flow
Compression ratio: 14:1
Compressor: Three centrifugal 304 stainless steel
Power turbine: 1x HP, 1x LP Dual 40 blade Blisk Hastelloy X
Specific fuel consumption: 0.55 lbs/shp-hr
Weight: 250 lbs
Shaft ouput speed: 55,000 rpm
Power output: 1000 shp take off, 850 continuous
Fuel consumption at 70% torque: 280 gallons/hr
Fuel consumption at 130% torque: 402 gallons/hr
6x 23″ x 265″ 250 lbs/ea
Gearbox: 250x reduction helical gear epicyclic, helical bevel gear for coaxial.
System weight and capacity:
Gross take-off weight: 33,000 lbs
Unit empty weight with 1-hour fuel: 10,500 lbs
Net lift capacity: 22,500 lbs
Maximum operating altitude without airspace permission: 400 ft
Maximum non-stop endurance: 24 hours.
Maximum travel distance over ocean or non-populated area: 480 miles, 770 km.
Overall unit width and length: 51′
Overall unit height: 190″
Power module dimensions: 35″ width by 68″ height
Power module weight without rotors: 6700 lbs
Rotor drive module dimensions: 88″ width, 130″ length
Power module with drive module separated can be easily transported in a box truck.
Purchase price: $990,000
Hourly operating cost: $750/hr
Pochari Hydrogen’s in-house development 1000 horsepower turboshaft.