Airbus receives the German Aviation Innovation Award in the category “Reduction of emissions”. With this award, which is presented to the winners in four categories, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy honours outstanding aviation research projects.

The award-winning “H2PU Imponator” demonstrates the functional principle of a new, hydrogen (H2)-powered fuel cell system, which may, at some time in the future, replace the auxiliary power unit (APU) in the rear fuselage of the aircraft

A team of engineers from Systems Engineering at Airbus has worked on this R&T project that sets new standards. With its new design, the “Imponator” uses the electricity from the fuel cell to drive a small electric power plant and thus a rotating shaft; this in turn is capable of supplying the energy for a compressor for the air conditioning system or a generator.

The new H2PU system could replace the kerosene-fuelled APU and it might even supply compressed air for the air conditioning system in flight, saving up to 3% of kerosene.