Embraer and EDP, a company that operates in all segments of the Brazilian energy sector, have entered a partnership for electric aircraft research. Through its EDP Smart division, the Portuguese-based multinational will make a financial contribution to acquire energy storage and battery charging technologies for Embraer’s all-electric demonstrator aircraft project, using the EMB-203 Ipanema as its test bed. The prototype, which is already in development, is scheduled to complete its inaugural flight in 2021.
The investment is part of the cooperation agreement signed by both companies to advance their shared knowledge of energy storage and battery charging technologies for aviation - one of the main challenges of the project. The partnership aims to investigate the applicability of high voltage batteries for the electric propulsion systems of small aircraft, in addition to evaluating the main operating characteristics, such as weight, efficiency and power quality, thermal control and management, cycling loading and unloading, and operational safety.
The scope of the partnership with EDP is to develop shared research in the storage of high voltage energy, complementing Embraer’s ongoing research. These research and development initiatives seek to accelerate the combined knowledge of the technologies necessary for the use and integration of batteries and electric motors to increase the energy efficiency of aircraft propulsion systems.
For the evaluations, a small single-engine aircraft is being used as the test bed to perform a primary assessment of electrification technologies. Ground tests have taken place at Embraer’s facilities in Botucatu, in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil, in preparation for the first flight, which will take place at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto unit.