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A review of Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion technologies for N+3 aircraft electrical systems

Davies, Karen Michelle and Norman, Patrick and Jones, Catherine and Galloway, Stuart and Husband, Mark (2013) A review of Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion technologies for N+3 aircraft electrical systems. In: 2013 48th International Universities' Power Engineering Conference (UPEC). IEEE, Piscataway, NJ., pp. 1-5. ISBN 9781479932542

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Abstract

In order to minimise the environmental impact of increased air traffic substantial developments in civil aircraft electrical power systems must occur. NASA have set a target to reduce noise by 71dB, NOx emissions by 80% and fuel consumption by 60% for the N+3 generation of aircraft entering into service sometime between 2030 and 2035. Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) is expected to enable these goals to be met. NASA's N3-X concept aircraft comprises gas turbine engines which drive electrical generators and a DC network distributes power to an array of fans, which provide thrust. Interconnection and protection technologies will also be included to achieve desired levels of reliability of supply to the propulsion motors. This paper outlines the architecture of a generic TeDP system, explores its benefits, describes technical challenges that will need to be overcome and discusses the technical implications of implementing TeDP with regards to electrical system power density and safety.