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Exploring the design space for a hybrid-electric regional aircraft with multidisciplinary design optimisation methods

Thauvin, Jérôme. Exploring the design space for a hybrid-electric regional aircraft with multidisciplinary design optimisation methods. PhD, Genie Electrique, Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, 2018

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Abstract

Envisioned in the next 15 to 30 years in the aviation industry, hybrid-electric propulsion offers theopportunity to integrate new technology bricks providing additional degrees of freedom to improveoverall aircraft performance, limit the use of non-renewable fossil resources and reduce the aircraftenvironmental footprint. Today, hybrid-electric technology has mainly been applied to groundbased transports, cars, buses and trains, but also ships. The feasibility in the air industry has to beestablished and the improvement in aircraft performance has still to be demonstrated. This thesisaims to evaluate the energy savings enabled by electric power in the case of a 70-seat regionalaircraft. First, energy saving opportunities are identified from the analysis of the propulsion andaerodynamic efficiencies of a conventional twin turboprop aircraft. The potential benefits comingfrom the variation of the size of prime movers and the new power managements with the use ofbatteries are studied. Also, possible aerodynamic improvements enabled by new propellerintegrations are considered. For each topic, simplified analyses provide estimated potential ofenergy saving. These results are then used to select four electrified propulsion systems that arestudied in more detail in the thesis: a parallel-hybrid, a turboelectric with distributed propulsion, apartial-turboelectric with high-lift propellers and an all-electric. Evaluating the selected hybrid-electric aircraft is even more challenging that the sizing of the different components, the energymanagement strategies and the mission profiles one can imagine are many and varied. Inaddition, the overall aircraft design process and the evaluation tools need to be adaptedaccordingly. The Airbus in-house Multidisciplinary Design Optimisation platform named XMDO,which includes most of the required modifications, is eventually selected and further developedduring the thesis. For examples, new parametric component models (blown wing, electrical motor,gas turbine, propeller, etc…) are created, a generic formulation for solving the propulsion systemequilibrium is implemented, and simulation models for take-off and landing are improved. In orderto evaluate the energy efficiency of the hybrid-electric aircraft, a reference aircraft equipped with aconventional propulsion system is first optimised with XMDO. Different optimisation algorithms aretested, and the consistency of the new design method is checked. Then, all the hybrid-electricconfigurations are optimised under the same aircraft design requirements as the reference. Forthe electrical components, two levels of technology are defined regarding the service entry date ofthe aircraft. The optimisation results for the turboelectric and the partial-turboelectric are used tobetter understand the potential aerodynamic improvements identified in the first part of the thesis.Optimisations for the parallel-hybrid, including different battery recharge scenarios, highlight thebest energy management strategies when batteries are used as secondary energy sources. All theresults are finally compared to the reference in terms of fuel and energy efficiencies, for the twoelectrical technology levels. The last part of the thesis focuses on the all-electric aircraft, and aimsat identifying the minimum specific energy required for batteries as a function of the aircraft designrange. A trade study is also carried-out in accordance with the service entry date for the otherelectrical components

Item Type:PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Research Director:
Roboam, Xavier and Budinger, Marc
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Deposited On:05 Apr 2019 07:32

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