Rolls-Royce is leading the global charge towards sustainable power. The engine manufacturer will be developing energy storage systems (ESS) that will enable aircraft to undertake zero emissions flights of over 100 miles on a single charge.
The company has committed to an £80m investment in ESS over the next decade, that willcreate around 300 jobs by 2030and strengthen itsposition as the leading supplier of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems foraviation.
Aerospace-certified ESS solutionsfrom Rolls-Royce will power electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems foreVTOLs (electric vertical takeoffand landing) in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market and fixed-wing aircraft,with up to 19 seats,in the commuter market. By 2035, Rolls-Royce is planning to integrate more than5 million battery cells per annum into modular systems.These modules will deliver market-leading energy density levels.
Rob Watson, Director of Electrical, Rolls-Royce, said: “This multi-million-pound investment by Rolls-Royce over the next decade is another demonstration of our ambitions in electrification. We are developing a portfolio of energy storage solutions to complement our electrical propulsion systems. This will ensure that we can offer our customers a complete electric propulsion system for their platform, whether that is an eVTOL or a commuter aircraft. It will enable us to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for all-electric or hybrid-electric propulsion systems, which is incredibly exciting as these new markets develop and expand.”
Rolls-Royce has over the years designed 10 different aerospace battery systems, using state-of-the-art cell technology. Of these batteries, fourdesigns have already flown in threeaircraft, accumulating more than 250 hours of flight experience and another twodesignswill complete their first flight in aircraft in 2021..
Rolls-Royce and airframerTecnam are currently working with Widerøe – the largest regional airline in Scandinavia – to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, which is planned to be ready for revenue service in 2026. Rolls-Royce will deliver the entire electrical propulsion system including an energy storage system for the new P-VOLT aircraft.