Performance Assessment of an Integrated Parallel Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System Aircraft
Paper in proceedings, 2019
Hybrid-electric propulsion system promises avenues for a greener aviation sector. Ground research work was performed in the past for the feasibility assessment, at the system level, for such novel concepts and the results showed were promising. Such designs, however, possess unique challenges from an operational point of view, and for sizing of the sub-system components; necessitating further design space exploration for associating with an optimal operational strategy. In light of the above, the paper aims at presenting an operational analysis and performance assessment study, for a conceptualised parallel hybrid design of an advanced geared turbofan engine, based on 2035 timeframe technology level. It is identified that the hybrid power operation of the engine is constrained with respect to the requirement of maintaining an adequate surge margin for the low pressure side components; however, a core re-optimised engine design with consideration of electrical power add-in for the design condition, relieves such limit. Therefore such a design, makes it suitable for implementation of higher degree of hybridisation. Furthermore, performance assessment is made both at engine and engine-aircraft integrated level for both scenarios of hybrid operation and the benefits are established relative to the baseline engine. The performance at engine level engine specific fuel consumption (SFC), thrust specific power consumption (TSPC), and overall efficiency, shows improvement in both hybridised scenarios. Improvement in SFC is achieved due to supply of the electrical power, whereas, the boost in TSPC, and overall efficiency is attributed to the use of higher efficiency electrical drive system. Furthermore, it is observed that while the hybridised scenario performs better at engine level, the core re-optimised design exhibits a better saving for block fuel/energy consumption, due to the considerable weight savings in the core components.