Speaker spotlight: Bruno Samaniego López, R&T Coordinator for Power & Energy Management at Airbus
In this speaker spotlight we meet Bruno Samaniego López, R&T Coordinator for Power &
Energy Management at Airbus.
Bruno has been working on power systems for aerospace applications for more than 10 years and shares with us his views on the very specific battery challenges for this high-value market.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities – what do you see as your core focus for the immediate and long-term future?
I work at the Battery Centre of Competence for Airbus, where I am in charge of coordinating the R&T for power and energy management and also in charge of the power and electrical engineering team. As CoC, we focus on all the applications across Airbus Group, from satellites to aircraft and from drones to electrical demonstrators. We therefore have to cover many different needs and find the best partners with the most suitable technology for each need, now and in the long-term future. We are not experts in electrochemistry; we focus on system performance and consequently need to know how to better integrate energy storage solutions into our products.
What are the biggest challenges/opportunities you face as a business and as a sector in relation to energy storage and battery configurations?
As I said, covering a wide portfolio means dealing with many different challenges. Just to name a few, we face several technical challenges in very high energy density for high-altitude pseudo-satellites like Zephyr, very high rate capability for demonstrators for urban air mobility like Vahana or CityAirbus, and safety for commercial aircraft. Electrical vehicle manufacturers have pushed the energy storage technology in the last decade, but they will not fund much higher energy densities anymore, because the range available is enough. We in aerospace need to take up the next challenge to push it further, but it will really depend on the market trends.
What innovative battery technologies, either chemical or mechanical, show promise for aerospace applications and why?
Lithium-ion has been used on board our satellites for almost 20 years without any issue so far. Nickel-cadmium is still the baseline for aeroplanes. New lithium technologies are showing great potential and could be of interest for our needs in terms of energy density, high rate and safety. And definitely, solid-state batteries would allow us to cover most of our challenges. We really look forward to this technology becoming available, and we are working on it.
Can you tell us a bit more about some of the projects that you are working on at the moment?
As I said, we work on a relatively wide portfolio at Airbus Group level. Some of the most exciting projects are currently the demonstrators for the future of urban air mobility, like Vahana or CityAirbus. They will revolutionise the way we move around big cities, and it’s an honour to be working on their batteries.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
From a very young age I knew I wanted to be an engineer. I wasn’t sure exactly which type, but I loved to try to understand how different machines worked. Now in Airbus we have the possibility to work on very innovative concepts and decide how to make them fly.
What are you most looking forward to at The Battery Show Europe2019?
I really look forward to meeting new potential partners, from startups to laboratories, institutions and companies; to discussing the future of energy storage and how we can work together to shape it.