Hydroplane wins small business innovation research funding from U.S. Navy for hydrogen ground power powerplant development

Hydroplane is pleased to be chosen as one of six winners of highly selective Department of the Navy Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Funding to develop its hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for ground power use cases.

“This win is an incredibly important development for Hydroplane,” says Hydroplane CEO Dr. Anita Sengupta. “We are in a position to bring hydrogen fueled electric ground-based power units to market rapidly. This greatly appreciated funding allows us to accelerate our mission to simultaneously help the environment and make the United States safer through energy independence.”

The funding award will enable Hydroplane to develop a compact and lightweight hydrogen fuel cell-based ground power unit (GPU) and auxiliary power unit (APU) for department of Navy use cases. The new product can also be deployed at airports around the county and globe to replace diesel powered GPUs, furthering the company’s mission to reduce end-to-end aviation sector carbon emissions.

Hydroplane has previously received two U.S. Air Force (USAF) Agility Prime Small Business Technology Transfer contracts, partnered with the University of Houston, received a California Energy Commission CalTestBed voucher to conduct testing and accelerate commercialization, and raised private funds to develop from the ground up and demonstrate a hydrogen fuel cell based electric powerplant for single engine aircraft.

Development is well underway on Hydroplane’s modular 200-kW (270 hp) hydrogen fuel cell powerplant for the general aviation, regional transportation, and urban air mobility markets. The company’s novel electric propulsion powerplant will replace combustion-piston driven engines in currently certified, experimental, and future aircraft as well as ground-based power systems.