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Aero Engine, Space & Defense Technology

IHI AEROSPACE's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Propulsion System Technology Development Initiative adopted as NEDO’s Green Innovation Fund Projects to Accelerate Development of Zero- Emission Aircraft


IHI Corporation announces today that the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has adopted a hydrogen fuel cell electric propulsion system technology development initiative of subsidiary IHI AEROSPACE Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture, President: Fumiharu Namiki), as the Next-Generation Aircraft Development Project under NEDO’s Green Innovation Fund Projects (see note below).

Computer image of decarbonized aircraft employing system
Computer image of decarbonized aircraft employing system

For this project, IHI AEROSPACE will develop a four-megawatt-class hydrogen fuel cell electric propulsion system. This zero-emission setup would power an aircraft with more than 40 seats and feature a cruising duration of more than three hours. The University of Tokyo(President: Teruo Fujii) will partner in this development project, contributing with technical studies and international standardization efforts.

The project will run for approximately six years from FY 2024 to FY2029. IHI AEROSPACE will examine fundamental design of this zero-emission propulsion system which has fuel cell and hydrogen supply system at its core, as well as looking into the optimal layouts and specifications of each component, after which actual components will be developed. A critical goal will be to demonstrate the ability of the system to operate continuously for more than three hours through ground-based demonstration tests.

IHI AEROSPACE aims to leverage its extensive expertise in system integration for rockets and other space vehicles, its experience with liquid hydrogen, and its capabilities as the IHI Group’s aero engine manufacturer to develop an internationally competitive hydrogen fuel cell electric propulsion system. By combining these strengths, IHI AEROSPACE seeks to enter the market as a key provider of propulsion systems for decarbonized aircraft.

The IHI Group is committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, as part of which it will help to decarbonize aviation economically. It will accordingly step up efforts to commercialize this system, help electrify aircraft, innovate distinctive lightweight technologies, and develop synthetic fuels.

Project overview

Project overview

Note: Green Innovation Fund Projects
NEDO established a ¥2.8 trillion Green Innovation Fund to ramp up efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, through structurally transforming the energy and industrial sectors and investing extensively in innovation. The fund will provide ongoing support to public and private sector entities collaborating to pursue ambitious and specific goals from R&D and demonstrations to social implementation of outcomes over the next 10 years. This assistance is primarily in 14 priority fields for which the Green Growth Strategy has formulated action plans.

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