North Haven, Connecticut
Project Term:
02/01/2021 - 10/31/2023

Technology Description:

Precision Combustion (PCI) is proposing an advanced energy storage and power generator design for meeting aggressive specific power and energy targets for all-electric propulsion of narrow-body commercial aircraft. Key enablers are an exceptionally power-dense solid oxide fuel cell system operating with energy-dense carbon neutral liquid fuels and a hybridized system architecture that maximizes component efficiencies for ultra-high system efficiency. PCI will validate compliance via component demonstration and develop a verifiable model for scale-up. It will also address performance constraints to conform to takeoff/climb/cruise requirements and examine tradeoffs (weight vs. efficiency vs. complexity). The team will mature integration options, validate costs, and evaluate manufacturing and cost viability at application scales, as well as customer platforms. Durability at aircraft operating conditions (e.g., start/stop cycles, peak power, transient operation, altitude) will be demonstrated.

Potential Impact:

Electrified aviation propulsion systems have the potential to achieve ultra-high fuel-to-propulsive power conversion efficiencies compared with existing turbofan and turboprop systems.


This program could ensure U.S. technology leadership in ultra-high efficiency aircraft propulsion systems capable of exploiting CNLFs.


A high specific power electrified propulsion system framework could enable net-zero carbon aviation by facilitating the transition to carbon neutral liquid fuels (CNLFs) while meeting all mission requirements.


The developed ESPG sub-system could provide the foundational technology for a new industry in ultra-high efficiency propulsion systems while improving the competitiveness of the existing air transportation industry by reducing fuel costs.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. James Seaba
Project Contact:
Mr. Subir Roychoudhury
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Project Contact Email:

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