Hydrogen as an alternative propulsion system

Research for alternative propulsion systems in aviation and shipping

To reduce emissions in aviation and shipping, the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics is developing fuel cell powertrains and energy systems for mobile applications in the megawatt range. Electrolysers are also one of the Institute’s specialties. They can be used to produce hydrogen from renewable resources as a sustainable fuel.


In the H2MARE project, hydrogen is produced offshore – that is, off the coast. To achieve this, electrolysers and demonstrators from the field of electricity-based fuels (Power-to-X) are connected to offshore wind turbines. This allows hydrogen, liquefied methane, liquid hydrocarbons, methanol and ammonia to be produced directly on site.

Hydrogen flagship projects: H2Mare: Offshore technologies

BALIS – Fuel cell-based powertrain for aircraft with a 1.5-megawatt output

The BALIS project is focussing on fuel cell systems with an output of more than 1.5 megawatts. This could be used, for example, to power a regional aircraft with 40 to 60 seats and a range of 1000 kilometres. The exhibit showcases the BALIS test infrastructure with its components fuel cell system, hydrogen tank, electric motors, battery system, cooling system and control and regulation technology.

DLR – Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics – Fuel cell-based powertrain for aircraft 1.5+ megawatts

Nautilus – Climate-friendly energy source for ships

Together with partners from industry and academia, DLR is researching ways of supplying ships with climate-friendly energy sources. This is based on a highly efficient fuel cell system for producing electricity and heat on board. The system can be operated with different fuels. To test the technology, the EU research project NAUTILUS is creating a ship-compatible demonstrator. The exhibit shows the components of the system.

Fuel cells reduce ship emissions – DLR Portal


German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics
Dr. Asif Ansar · E-Mail seyed-asif.ansar@dlr.de

Infografik: Container e-XPlore für die Nutzung in H2Mare
BALIS Testfeld
Modell Nautilus