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One step closer to climate-friendly aviation

One step closer to climate-friendly aviation

Aviation must become more climate-friendly as mobility needs increase. This is a foregone conclusion. When it comes to the “how,” science and research clearly play a role. A European project as part of Horizon 2020 led by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and involving the University of Vienna has “made significant progress in the field of electrification of aviation,” according to AIT.

Specifically, the SOLIFLY (Semi-solid Lithium-ion Batteries Functionally Integrated in Composite Structures for Next-Generation Hybrid Electric Aircraft) project has been working for three years on multifunctional aircraft structures with integrated batteries to achieve greater efficiency and lower emissions. The focus was on developing special components with dual functions. These parts are said to have the necessary mechanical strength and can be integrated into the supporting structure while also serving as an electrical energy storage device. This could reduce the weight of the aircraft system.

According to AIT, so-called semi-solid electrochemistry played a key role in the project. This is based on active materials with high energy density and a non-flammable structural electrolyte. Two different concepts were examined here. The integration of energy storage was also shown to be compatible with the high mechanical requirements in aviation. “This is an important step for multifunctional energy storage as a key technology for climate-neutral aviation in the future,” explains Helmut Kunlett, a researcher at AIT and coordinator of SOLIFLY.

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