AeroVironment has patented a hydrogen-fueled powerplant for aircraft, featuring a two-stage turbocharger and control system to optimize efficiency. The system adjusts reactant flow rate based on altitude and engine conditions to maintain exhaust temperature below a limit. GlobalData’s report on AeroVironment gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on AeroVironment, Precision imaging drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. AeroVironment's grant share as of February 2024 was 72%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Hydrogen-fueled powerplant with two-stage turbocharger for aircraft

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: AeroVironment Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11920512B2) discloses a powerplant comprising an engine that reacts a first reactant with a gaseous stream of a second reactant to produce energy and an exhaust stream. The control system of the powerplant is configured to monitor the engine's operating altitude and adjust the flow rate of the second reactant based on this altitude and the engine's condition to maintain the exhaust stream temperature below a specified limit. Additionally, the powerplant includes components such as a temperature sensor, compressor, turbine, afterburner, and injector, all controlled by the system to optimize performance and temperature regulation.

Furthermore, the patent describes a method for limiting the temperature of the exhaust stream by monitoring altitude and exhaust stream temperature, and adjusting the flow rate of the second reactant accordingly. The method involves utilizing a compressor, turbine, afterburner, and injector to control the flow rate and reactants in the exhaust stream. Another aspect of the patent details a method for restarting the engine in various ambient conditions by operating the afterburner to add energy to the turbine, ensuring the compressor is driven at a speed that maintains the required flow rate of the second reactant. This method also involves controlling the amount of additional reactants injected into the exhaust stream to facilitate the restart process effectively.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.