Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Electrical Engineering
Mercedes Winfrey - University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Co-Author(s): Ronald J. Ankner: Steven's Institute of Technology Dept. Electrical Engineering, Hoboken, NJ.; Tristan E. LaCombe: Princeton University Dept. Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Princeton, NJ.; Isaac O. Kassim: New Mexico State University Dept. Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Las Cruces, NM; Jeremy N. Mysliwiec: The Pennsylvania State University Dept. Engineering Science, State College, PA
As conventional gas turbine propulsion technologies approach the upper limits of improvements in efficiency and emissions, a new paradigm shift can be seen on the horizon within the commercial aviation industry: hybrid electric propulsion systems. To overcome inefficiencies inherent in switching from mechanical to electrical power, hybrid electric aircraft will need to take advantage of novel effects. These effects include higher effective bypass ratio and induced wing lift from distributed propeller/fan arrangements along with dynamic load handling. Systems studies were performed for an on-demand mobility aircraft platform with a passenger capacity of approximately seven. This platform is envisioned to remedy the prohibitively long wait times a passenger on a conventional aircraft would face at their airport if they were to take a short-range flight. Vehicle flight configurations, mission contingencies, gas turbine and generator sizing, and battery sizing were all main considerations within the systems study. Virtual gas turbine models were built within both NPSS (Numerical Propulsion System Simulation) and T-MATS (Toolbox for Modeling and Analysis of Thermodynamic Systems). Furthermore, a plan to develop a low-cost turbine/generator testbed centered on a JetCat SPT5 hobbyist size turboshaft engine has been drafted. The JetCat SPT5 turboshaft will be paired with commercial generator and power conversion systems for the first phase of the testbed to verify models and characterize the dynamic nature of the system. Hybrid-electric systems have the possibility to make a massive impact on aerospace designs. In supplementing energy normally provided by fuel with electric energy, hybrid-electric systems make available a host of aircraft architectures that were never before feasible. Moreover, they provide a robust system for small commuter aircraft which both reduce fuel consumption and increases turbine efficiency. Overall, the investigation of these systems incorporated a study of the system as a whole and aircraft architecture, computational models of turbine engines and generators, and a physical testbed to characterize the dynamic response of turboelectric systems. Out of these efforts, it was concluded that a vehicle of weight 7000 pounds, L/D of 16, and a disk loading of 10 lb/ft2 was optimal for a hybrid-electric system performing a nominal mission of approximate range 200 miles and speed 150 mph.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NASA Glenn Research Center
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Anissa Buckner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: 1. System Studies/ Literature Search 2. Dynamic Modeling of propulsion system 3. Configure testbed and devise proposal