closed Opened: 30 March 2022 | Closes: 31 May 2022
The use of Fuel Cells enables the generation of electricity aboard the aircraft from hydrogen (stored in a dedicated tank) and oxygen (air) without any CO2, NOx, particles emission as the only by-products of the reaction are water and heat. Therefore, these technologies have the potential to strongly reduce aviation emissions & pave the way to climate neutrality. Additionally, they can drastically reduce the noise when compared to gas turbines, both when aircraft is moving (flight/taxi) and on ground/stopped (while operating non propulsive energy systems).
Depending on the power delivered, fuel cells can supply either non-propulsive systems (e.g electrical anti-ice systems, electrical Environmental Control System, Green Taxiing, etc) or propulsive systems (electrical engines and propeller).
Experience shows that aviation constraints (such as weight, altitude etc) will require specific technologies in order to meet the necessary KPIs.
Project results are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes:
- The maturation of necessary Low TRL new generation of fuel cell technology, operating higher than 120°C (constant operation) to unlock thermal management issues for high power systems;
- Demonstration of the developed technology in lab test conditions (single cell or short stack).
At the end of the project, performed lab tests will have proven concept feasibility. The technologies will then be further matured in Clean Aviation Programme, embedded and integrated in a specified architecture for demonstrations.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following objectives of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA:
- FC module durability [h]: 20.000 in 2024 and 30.000 in 2030;
- FC system efficiency [%]: 45 in 2024 and 50 in 2030;
- FC system availability [%]: 95 in 2024 and 98 in 2030.
In addition to the KPIs above and when considering a system size of 1.5MW the proposal should also contribute to the achievement of the following:
- Fuel cell Gravimetric index @system level > 1.5 kW/kg nominal power, under nominal aviation environmental conditions. Note: For computation, the following “system” definition is proposed: Fuel Cell stack + Anode & Cathode BoP (incl. by-products management) + Thermal Management BoP (excl. Heat exchanger);
- Fuel cell Gravimetric Index @stack level > 3 kW/kg in nominal power (and not peak power);
- Power density @ Membrane Electrode Assembly > 1.25 W/cm2;
- Ageing kinetics (= performances degradation in time) is understood;
- Environmental conditions: temperature, pressure, vibration and other area of interest (Ie DO 160) compatible with aircraft environment.
The technology (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) that is emerging from the automotive industry through car manufacturers is of interest for aeronautic industry, but some issues are still to be solved (hydrogen storage and distribution from the tank to the fuel cell system are not considered here):
- Aviation needs are in the range of 1 to 5MW depending on the size of the aircraft and/or the systems to supply with power (propulsive or non-propulsive). This target is clearly defined in the Clean Aviation SRIA. Such power level requires capability to dissipate almost the same power of heat, in a dedicated thermal management system;
- Current fuel cell technologies developed by automotive industry operate lower than 100°C at constant operation, which means that fuel cell thermal management system will have to evacuate a large amount of power with a low-grade heat due to FC low temperature;
- Thermal management and especially heat dissipation using a low-grade heat have a massive impact on aircraft performance: aircraft drag increase implies to boost aircraft propulsive system sizing (leading to manage more heat) and requires more energy for the same mission (leading to take on more fuel, and therefore to boost aircraft propulsive system);
- Fuel cell operating temperature increase (120°C +) would significantly help to reduce thermal management effect on aircraft flight performances, and unlock fuel cells applications for high power generation systems;
- Current developed High Temperature PEM-FC technologies (Phosphoric acid doped PBI-based MEAs for instance) are not at the expected level of performance for aeronautic target.
Proposals should target a disruptive 120°C+ constant operating temperature fuel cell technology with the same performances as current state-of-the-art low Temperature PEM technologies.
The integration of such a new fuel cell technology into an aircraft fuel cell system needs to be considered and anticipated but is not the scope of this topic.
Proposals should address the following aspects:
Requirements & specification
- Early in the project, define a projected fuel cell stack using this disruptive fuel cell technology compatible with aircraft environment and constraints (safety, durability, availability, temperature, pressure);
- Define disruptive MEA of this technology specification. Disruptive MEA requirement and a high-level MEA architecture should be defined and agreed early in the project;
- Derive necessary technological bricks to be matured up to TRL 4.
MEA architecture, global consistency and performance
- Define a global MEA architecture by considering the interactions between all the components, layers and interfaces of a MEA: previous development of a disruptive MEA for automotive applications highlighted the need to take into account the global architecture of this component. High performance materials assembly do not meet the expected characteristics (performance, durability) of each component of a MEA taken individually. The overall architecture definition is the key for the development of an efficient MEA;
- Increase the kinetics of the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR), main limiting reaction for PEM MEA;
- Design and develop an efficient electrolyte-catalyst interface to optimise the electrochemical active area;
- Design and optimise the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL), Micro Porous Layer (MPL) and electrode interfaces to facilitate reactants and products management and ensure good electrical properties;
- Eco-design of the MEA has to be taken into account.
Proton or anion electrolyte technology
- Design a fuel cell technology working at 120°C+ (constant operation);
- Design an electrolyte technology with high proton or anion conductivity and no electrical conductivity;
- Define an electrolyte technology with low gas permeability;
- Design electrodes working at 120°C+ (constant operation);
- Design and optimise a cathode to improve ORR kinetics;
- Define and optimise the catalyst loading for Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction (HOR);
- Optimise catalysts support to improve electrochemical active area on both electrodes.
Gas diffusion layer
- Design GDL working at 120°C+ (constant operation);
- Design and optimise GDL composition and structure to efficiently transport and evacuate reactants from the bipolar plate channels to the electrodes, especially on cathode side where the oxygen transport to the catalysts has a major impact on performances at high current densities;
- Optimise electrical conductivity of GDL;
- Design and optimise GDL with an efficient water management at 120°C+.
In addition, great care should be taken to strength, durability of the MEA, and transient start-up / shut down mode. In particular proposals should address the following:
- Design a MEA able to work with different pressures between anode and cathode;
- Design a MEA with high mechanical resistance.
- Design a MEA with a durability > 20,000 h.
Start and stop operations
- Design a MEA able to undergo start and stop operations with limited degradation rate;
- Define a MEA able to start at cold temperature.
Proposals may include activity for the test bed development for FC testing, and the development of relevant test protocols for performance, lifetime assessment and operating environment profiles.
Activities developing test protocols and procedures for the performance and durability assessment of electrolysers and fuel cell components proposals should foresee a collaboration mechanism with JRC (see section 22.214.171.124 "Collaboration with JRC"), in order to support EU-wide harmonisation. Test activities should adopt the already published EU harmonised testing protocols to benchmark performance and quantify progress at programme level.
Activities are expected to start at TRL 2 and achieve TRL 4 by the end of the project.
The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 126.96.36.199 of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2022 Annual Work Plan and in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021–2022 which apply mutatis mutandis.
- Admissibility conditions:described inAnnex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes
Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System
Additional condition: For all Innovation Actions the page limit of the applications are 70 pages.
- Eligible countries:described inAnnex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide.
- Other eligibility conditions:described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
Additional eligibility condition: Maximum contribution per topic
For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to limit the Clean Hydrogen JU requested contribution mostly for actions performed at high TRL level, including demonstration in real operation environment and with important involvement from industrial stakeholders and/or end users such as public authorities. Such actions are expected to leverage co-funding as commitment from stakeholders. It is of added value that such leverage is shown through the private investment in these specific topics. Therefore, proposals requesting contributions above the amounts specified per each topic below will not be evaluated:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-01-07 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 9.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-03-03 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 30.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-03-05 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 15.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-04-01 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 7.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-01 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 25.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-02 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 8.00 million
Additional eligibility condition: Membership to Hydrogen Europe/Hydrogen Europe Research
For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to ensure that one partner in the consortium is a member of either Hydrogen Europe or Hydrogen Europe Research. This concerns topics targeting actions for large-scale demonstrations, flagship projects and strategic research actions, where the industrial and research partners of the Clean Hydrogen JU are considered to play a key role in accelerating the commercialisation of hydrogen technologies by being closely linked to the Clean Hydrogen JU constituency, which could further ensure full alignment with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the Industry and the SRIA188 of the JU. This approach shall also ensure the continuity of the work performed within projects funded through the H2020 and FP7, by building up on their experience and consolidating the EU value-chain. This applies to the following topics:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-07
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-08
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-10
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-08
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-03
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-05
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -07-01
Additional eligibility condition: Participation of African countries
For one topic the following additional eligibility criteria have been introduced to allow African countries to i) participate in proposal, ii) be eligible for funding and iii) ensure a sufficient geographical coverage of the African continent. This concerns the following topic:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-5
Manufacturing Readiness Assessment
For some topics a definition of Manufacturing Readiness Level has been introduced in the Annexes of the Annual Work Programme. This is necessary to evaluate the status of the overall manufacturing activities included in the following topics:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01
- Financial and operational capacity and exclusion:described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Evaluation and award:
- Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Submission and evaluation processes are described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes and the Online Manua
Exemption to evaluation procedure: complementarity of projects
For some topics in order to ensure a balanced portfolio covering complementary approaches, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to one additional project that is / are complementary, provided that the applications attain all thresholds
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-03
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-09
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-10
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-02
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-04
Seal of Excellence
For two topics the ‘Seal of Excellence’ will be awarded to applications exceeding all of the evaluation thresholds set out in this Annual Work Programme but cannot be funded due to lack of budget available to the call. This will further improve the chances of good proposals, otherwise not selected, to find alternative funding in other Union programmes, including those managed by national or regional Managing Authorities. With prior authorisation from the applicant, the Clean Hydrogen JU may share information concerning the proposal and the evaluation with interested financing authorities, subject to the conclusion of confidentiality agreements. In this Annual Work Programme ‘Seal of Excellence’ will be piloted for topics:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02
- Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes
In addition to the standard provisions, the following specific provisions in the model grant agreement will apply:
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), background and results, access rights and rights of use (article 16 and Annex 5 of the Model Grant Agreement (MGA)).
- An additional information obligation has been introduced for topics including standardisation activities: ‘Beneficiaries must, up to 4 years after the end of the action, inform the granting authority if the results could reasonably be expected to contribute to European or international standards’. These concerns the topics below:
Additional information obligation for topics including standardisation activities
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-09
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-02
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-03
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-04
- For all topics in this Work Programme Clean Hydrogen JU shall have the right to object to transfers of ownership of results, or to grants of an exclusive licence regarding results, if: (a) the beneficiaries which generated the results have received Union funding; (b) the transfer or licensing is to a legal entity established in a non-associated third country; and (c) the transfer or licensing is not in line with Union interests. The grant agreement shall contain a provision in this respect.
Full capitalised costs for purchases of equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action
For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, mostly large-scale demonstrators or flagship projects specific equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action (or developed as part of the action tasks) can exceptionally be declared as full capitalised costs. This concerns the topics below:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-07: electrolyser and other hydrogen related equipment essential for implementation of the project, (e.g. compression of hydrogen, storage and any essential end-use technology)
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-08: electrolyser, its BoP and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for the implementation of the project (e.g. hydrogen storage)
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-10: electrolyser, its BOP and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for implementation of the project (e.g. offshore infrastructure, renewable electricity supply infrastructure, storages, pipelines and other auxiliaries required to convey and utilise the hydrogen)
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-08: compression prototype/s and related components
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-03: trucks, fuel cell system, on-board hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen truck
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-05: vessels, fuel cell system, on-board hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen fuel cell hydrogen vessel
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01: manufacturing equipment and tooling
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01: hydrogen production plant, distribution and storage infrastructure and hydrogen end-uses
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02: hydrogen production plant, distribution and storage infrastructure and hydrogen end-uses
- Specific conditions:described in thechapter 188.8.131.52 of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2022 Annual Work Plan
Application form — As well available in the Submission System from March 31st 2022
Model Grant Agreement (MGA)
Clean Hydrogen JU - Annual Work Programme 2022 (AWP 2022)
- AWP 2022
Clean Hydrogen JU - Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)