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Electrification and hydrogen use in aviation: a scenario-based simulation of Turin airport

Giampiero Sacchi

Electrification and hydrogen use in aviation: a scenario-based simulation of Turin airport.

Rel. Andrea Lanzini, Hossam Gaber. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare, 2023

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In the last two centuries the continuous emissions of CO2 level has brough the greenhouse effect at unimaginable levels, due to an uncontrollable use of fossil fuels. The objective to stay within the 2 °C increase within 2050 is challenging but the continuous development of renewables is year by year most promising. Their intermittency makes them unreliable without proper energy management strategies and efficient storage systems, so far, the use of modern batteries is crucial to store surplus energy from renewables and new storage technologies are in development. Among them the use of hydrogen as storage has draw the attention of plenty of researcher. Indeed, it is a clean energy vector, with the highest energy density in terms of mass, it is already used in different industrial sector. The employment of hydrogen as storage to cover peaks during low energy production is promising, however, the implementation in modern transportation would be the key to revamp decarbonization in this sector. Indeed, the use of batteries present different drawbacks, range limit, long recharging time, and low energy density. In this regard, hydrogen present opposite features. Among the different transportation subsectors, aviation it is for sure the most difficult to decarbonize, indeed, the specific fuel requirements needed makes it very challenging, with hydrogen that could be successfully implemented within the short-medium range segment that is likely to enter in operation in the next 15-20 years. However, in this sector, the challenge does not rely only on the airside, but also on the landside, where the hydrogen production, storage, and delivery should happen. It is known that airports are the centre of the aviation sector, with energy consumption similar to that of a small city, industries in the surroundings, people working and many passengers with plenty of commodities available within the airport. The project aims to connect the landside with the airside, trying to simulate the behaviour of typical medium-size airport as it is the Torino Caselle airport, and to imagine how the airport should develop in the next years, to be ready to host future hydrogen-based aircrafts. The study analyses different sensitivities with the development of different scenarios, that could be joined together to create a possible pathway towards complete decarbonisation. It is firstly analysed the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario, where everything remains as it is, then, the implementation of a rooftop solar PV array is studied in the Renewable Development scenario. Continuing towards more green developments, the airport is supposed to employ only green-electric vehicles, in the so-called Electrification scenario. Finally, the use of hydrogen in national and international flights is studied, in the Regional and International scenarios respectively. Results showed that the use of renewables such as solar PV, or others available depending on the airport location, can only be beneficial, together with the implementation of green ground vehicles. On the other hand, the use of green hydrogen would be feasible only if it reaches reasonable prices, in the order of 1-2 €/kg, that is likely to happen if hydrogen mass production will be implemented. In conclusion, even if the use of hydrogen in aviation would be economically feasible only if hydrogen will reach a certain price, this must not frighten airports and airlines owner, as the development itself of hydrogen production will make it economically affordable.

Relators: Andrea Lanzini, Hossam Gaber
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 126
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-30 - ENERGY AND NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Ente in cotutela: University of Ontario Institute of Technology (CANADA)
Aziende collaboratrici: University of Ontario, Istitute of Tech.
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/26118
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