Multidisciplinary Analysis of a Geared Fan Intercooled Core Aero-Engine
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Reduction of CO2 emissions is strongly linked with the improvement of engine specific fuel consumption, as well as the reduction of engine nacelle drag and weight. One alternative design approach to improving specific fuel consumption is to consider a geared fan combined with an increased overall pressure ratio intercooled core performance cycle. Thermal benefits from intercooling have been well documented in the literature. Nevertheless, there is very little information available in the public domain with respect to design space exploration of such an engine concept when combined with a geared fan. The present work uses a multidisciplinary conceptual design tool to analyse the option of an intercooled core geared fan aero engine for long haul applications with a 2020 entry into service technology level assumption.
With minimum mission fuel in mind, the results indicate as optimal values a pressure ratio split exponent of 0.38 and an intercooler mass flow ratio just below 1.2 at hot-day top of climb conditions. At ISA mid-cruise conditions a specific thrust of 86m/s, a jet velocity ratio of 0.83, an intercooler effectiveness of 55% and an overall pressure ratio value of 76 are likely to be a good choice. A 70,000lbf intercooled turbofan engine is large enough to make efficient use of an all-axial compression system, particularly within a geared fan configuration, but intercooling is perhaps more likely to be applied to even larger engines.
The proposed optimal jet velocity ratio is actually higher than the value one would expect by using standard analytical expressions primarily because this design variable affects core efficiency at mid-cruise due to a combination of several different subtle changes to the core cycle and core component efficiencies at this condition. Analytical expressions do not consider changes in core efficiency and the beneficial effect of intercooling on transfer efficiency, nor account for losses in the bypass duct and jet pipe, whilst a relatively detailed engine performance model such as the one utilised in this study does.
Mission fuel results from a surrogate model are in good agreement with the results obtained from a rubberised-wing aircraft model for some of the design parameters. This indicates that it is possible to replace an aircraft model with specific fuel consumption and weight penalty exchange rates. Nevertheless, drag count exchange rates have to be utilised to properly assess changes in mission fuel for those design parameters that affect nacelle diameter.