Integrated fuel-battery hybrid for a narrow-body sized transport aircraft
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Article publication date: 30 September 2014
The aim of this paper is to assess the potential of fuel-battery hybrid narrow-body (180PAX) transport aircraft according to different design ranges for an entry-into-service (EIS) of 2035.
The philosophy used in the design of the twin-engine fuel-battery hybrid concept is to use the power of an electric motor during cruise to drive a single propulsive device, whereas the other one is powered conventionally by an advanced gas turbine. A methodology for the sizing and performance assessment of hybrid energy aircraft was previously proposed by the authors. Based on this methodology, the overall sizing effects at aircraft level are considered to size the hybrid aircraft to different range applications. To evaluate the hybrid concept, performance was contrasted against a conventional aircraft projected to EIS 2035 and sized for identical requirements. Additionally, sensitivity of the prospects against different battery technology states was analysed.
The best suited aircraft market for the application of the fuel-battery hybrid transport aircraft concept considered is the regional segment. Under the assumption of a battery-specific energy of 1.5 kWh/kg, block fuel reduction up to 20 per cent could be achieved concurrently with a gate-to-gate neutral energy consumption compared to an advanced gas-turbine aircraft. However, a large increase in maximum take-off weight (MTOW) occurs resulting from battery weight, the additional electrical system weight, and the cascading sizing effects. It strongly counteracts the benefit of the hybrid-electric propulsion technology used in this concept for lower battery-specific energy and for longer design ranges.
The findings will contribute to the evaluation of the feasibility and impact of hybrid energy transport aircraft as potential key enablers of the European and US aeronautical program goals towards 2035.
The paper draws its value from the consideration of the overall sizing effects at aircraft level and in particular the impact of the hybrid-electric propulsion system to investigate the prospects of fuel-battery hybrid narrow-body transport aircraft sized at different design ranges.
The authors would like to thank Patrick C. Vratny for the modelling of the electrical propulsion system and subsystem architecture.
Pornet, C., Kaiser, S., Isikveren, A.T. and Hornung, M. (2014), "Integrated fuel-battery hybrid for a narrow-body sized transport aircraft", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 86 No. 6, pp. 568-574. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-05-2014-0062
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