ON the SHAFT SPEED SELECTION of PARALLEL HYBRID AERO ENGINES
Paper in proceeding, 2021
The boosted turbo fan or parallel hybrid is a promising means to reduce fuel consumption of gas turbines on aircraft. With an electric drive on the low-pressure spool of the gas turbine, it requires a trade-off between the characteristics of the gas turbine and the electric power sub-systems. Reducing specific thrust at a given thrust requirement results in a larger fan with a lower pressure ratio. This leads to improved propulsive efficiency but at the expense of increased weight and nacelle drag. At a given design relative tip Mach number, increasing fan size and hence tip diameter means the fan shaft speed will need to be reduced. This will, according to occasionally quoted rules of thumb', make the directly coupled electrical drive more efficient but heavier. The objective of this paper is to expose some key aspects of this trade-off in terms of efficiency and weight, and relate them to these guidelines. The paper applies sophisticated methodology in both addressed domains. For the gas turbine, multi-point design is used. Here, established synthesis matching schemes focusing on gas turbine performance parameters are extended with parameters from the sizing and weight estimation such as diameters and tip speeds. For the electrical machine, fully analytical sizing capturing the impact of cooling supply is used. The paper reports estimated gas path and machine geometries. It gives an understanding of the interactions between both sub-systems and allows concluding which low pressure spool speed gives the best instantaneous performance. It largely confirms the quoted rules of thumb but exposes that the factors affecting machine efficiency are more involved than implied for an integrated design.