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Demonstrating the more electric engine : a step towards the power optimised aircraft

Hirst, M. and McLoughlin, A. and Norman, Patrick and Galloway, Stuart (2011) Demonstrating the more electric engine : a step towards the power optimised aircraft. IET Electric Power Applications, 5 (1). pp. 3-13.

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Abstract

Early in 2008, as part of the European funded power optimised aircraft (POA) technology project, Rolls-Royce ran a substantial engine test programme to demonstrate the feasibility of more electric engine technologies. This study outlines the technologies that were developed as replacements for conventional turbofan engine components, discussing the key features of the power electronics, generation and motor drive systems integrated within the aircraft engine and goes on to discuss outcomes from the test programme and draw conclusions to the applicability of more electric technologies for future applications. The main findings of systems-level modelling and simulation, which was employed to de-risk the engine electrical network design ahead of the hardware build, are also discussed. The study presents a summary of the major technical challenges faced in the development and operation of the engine system together with the solutions employed to overcome them. A selection of test results is provided to illustrate examples of the electrical system operation and to show a comparison between the modelled and tested results. The study concludes by exploring how the technical achievements of the engine demonstration and of the wider POA programme are providing the foundation for further work to realise the full potential of the more electric aircraft.