Electrochemical Energy Systems for Electrified Aircraft Propulsion: Batteries and Fuel Cell Systems C2015

Topics: Powertrain & Propulsion


In this joint AIAA / SAE course, participants will learn about Electro-chemical Energy Systems (EES), with an emphasis on electrified aircraft propulsion and power applications. The course will present the fundamentals in chemistry, materials science, electrical, and mechanical engineering for various EESs including high voltage battery systems (Li-ion and beyond) and fuel cells (PEM, solid oxide fuel cells, and others). The challenges of each EES option will be examined as it applies to aircraft electrification, including:

  • Specific energy, efficiency, electrical, thermal, mechanical integration, operating conditions, and other technical considerations
  • Inherent hazards, risk severity, and available mitigation strategies
  • Ground handling, operations / maintenance, and recharging / refueling
  • Economics, life cycle considerations, infrastructure requirements, and certification challenges
Registration Info:
  • Fees: $1099
  • SAE/AIAA Members: $989
  • Student Members: $495
For Non-members paying by credit card, you can register directly on the Registration Tab.

For AIAA members or students, please call SAE Customer Service at 1-877-606-7323 (724)

Learning Objectives

  • Recall elements of electrified propulsion and power (high level) including what is needed to make a successful EES for aircraft.
  • Discuss the inner workings and the ‘balance of plant’ associated with battery and fuel cell systems.
  • Explore the limitations, failure modes, and inherent risks for batteries / fuel cells and supporting subsystems in the context of flight / ground operations.
  • Consider future technological advancements, quantitative environmental and economic impacts on aviation, conceptual change to aircraft operations for end-users, and current government, industry, and regulatory activities.

Who Should Attend

This course is intended for technology and management professionals, students, and policymakers who want to understand EES technology fundamentals as well as their unique design and safety considerations and limitation in the context of electrified aircraft propulsion and power. 

You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

1.Lecture 1: Introduction / Overview:
  • This module will introduce concepts of aircraft electrification with respect to electrochemical energy system: batteries and fuel cells.
  • A high level overview and comparison of different battery chemistries (including Li-ion, Li-Metal, Li-S, Li-Air, solid state Lithium, Sodium-ion) and fuel cell types (including Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), alkaline, direct methanol, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide) will be presented.
  • High level trades and analyses, design, integration, operations, and safety considerations, and technology limitations will also be discussed.
2. Lectures 2 to 4: Batteries and Battery Systems:
  • Li-based battery cell components, material properties, processes, performance, and challenges.
  • Pack considerations, battery management systems, thermal management, charging / discharging (rates and state of charge limits), and effect of different operating / environmental conditions.
  • Cell-level risks / failure drivers, abuse conditions, thermal runaway (hazardous venting, propagation, fire, explosion), high voltage risks, aging / degradation, and environmental considerations.
  • Quality / control assurance, mitigations, protections / controls, containment, and regulations.
3.Lectures 5 to 7:  Fuel Cells and Fuel Cell Systems:
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell components, fuels, material properties, processes, and challenges.
  • PEM stack considerations, electrical subsystem, fuel processing (including options for hydrocarbon fuel reformation or partial oxidation), air processing, water and thermal management, systems integration, durability, operational / environmental factors, and overall system efficiency.
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) components, fuels, material properties, processes, stack level considerations, and challenges.
4.Lecture 8:  Charging / Fueling Infrastructure and Summary
  • Hydrogen as an energy carrier: properties, generation, storage, forms (liquid or gaseous), and safety considerations.
  • Infrastructure requirements for charging / fueling, life cycle considerations (sourcing, manufacturing, operation, recycling / repurposing, and disposal), economics, and certification for aviation.
  • Summary: Course re-cap, future considerations, and wrap-up.
Natesa MacRae, Erik Spek, Dacong Weng

Ms. Natesa MacRae is a senior researcher at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). She has worked as a systems engineer for over 20 years in a variety of industries, including terrestrial / space robotics and aviation, from mission systems design through to acceptance testing. She later joined the NRC’s Aerospace Research Center (ARC) as a Control Systems Engineer and has been responsible for the industrial controls for many of the NRC Gas Turbine Laboratory’s premiere combustion and engine performance, operability, icing, and altitude test facilities. She received her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree at McGill University (1998) and while working full time, received her Master of Engineering (2004) from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Ms. MacRae is presently a member of NRC Low Carbon Technologies group, and is focused on hybrid-electric propulsion aircraft and energy systems de-carbonisation research, including system level modeling, simulation, systems integration, and testing for stationary and aviation battery and fuel cell system applications. Ms. MacRae has also led multiple clean aviation infrastructure development projects including the systems design and commissioning of a large scale Hydrogen Supply Facility and the electrical upgrade of an engine test cell for battery electric powertrain testing. She is the chair of the NRC’s Sustainable Aviation Working Group, a member of the NRC’s Hybrid Electric Aircraft Testbed ground test team, and is an active member of the AIAA Electrified Aircraft Technologies Technical Committee.

Erik J. Spek is an advisor and seminar leader for battery and cell manufacturers, vehicle OEMs and utility grid users of energy storage systems. He is also a consultant in the field of energy storage systems focusing on applications, verification testing, cell and battery production facilities safety and sodium ion battery development. His industrial work has been with GE, Black and Decker, ABB, Magna International, TUV SUD and ThinkCoulombic Inc. Battery technologies development has included NaS, Zebra, NiMH and Li-Ion. Mr. Spek is co-holder of a patent for next generation sodium metal chloride architecture for low cost and high energy density. He has authored articles on Weibull statistics for battery life and BEV range modeling and has been active in the battery industry since 1984. Mr. Spek is a member of SAE International and is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer with SME. He received an M.A.Sc. from the University of Waterloo and is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Dacong Weng is a retired Principal R&D Engineer from Honeywell Aerospace. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University for high temperature PEM fuel cell studies. Dr. Weng has over 25 years of experience in the research and development of fuel cell power system, from membrane electrode assembly (MEA) development, PEM and SOFC stack design, to fuel cell power system integration. Dr. Weng has authored and co-authored papers on high temperature polymer electrolyte development, high performance PEM fuel cell bipolar plates, PEM fuel cell and SOFC stack development, regenerative PEM fuel cell system, and has been awarded 27 US patents in PEM fuel cell and SOFC power systems, adjustable sensor/sensor network, and gas/liquid contact and separation systems.

Duration: 16 Hours
CEUs: 1.6

Format: Virtual

Event ID: LM169

Location: Live Online

Session Info:

  • Session 1 - April 19 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 2 - April 21 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 3 - April 26 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 4 - April 28 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 5 - May 3 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 6 - May 5 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 7 - May 10 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
  • Session 8 - May 12 (1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET)
    8 Sessions

  • Fees: $1,099.00

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