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Sensitivity of Mission Energy Consumption to Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion Design Assumptions on the N3-X Hybrid Wing Body AircraftIn a previous study by the authors it was shown that the N3-X, a 300 passenger hybrid wing body (HWB) aircraft with a turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP) system, was able to meet the NASA Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) project goal for N+3 generation aircraft of at least a 60% reduction in total energy consumption as compared to the best in class current generation aircraft. This previous study combined technology assumptions that represented the highest anticipated values that could be matured to technology readiness level (TRL) 4-6 by 2030. This paper presents the results of a sensitivity analysis of the total mission energy consumption to reductions in each key technology assumption. Of the parameters examined, the mission total energy consumption was most sensitive to changes to total pressure loss in the propulsor inlet. The baseline inlet internal pressure loss is assumed to be an optimistic 0.5%. An inlet pressure loss of 3% increases the total energy consumption 9%. However changes to reduce inlet pressure loss can result in additional distortion to the fan which can reduce fan efficiency or vice versa. It is very important that the inlet and fan be analyzed and optimized as a single unit. The turboshaft hot section is assumed to be made of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) with a 3000 F maximum material temperature. Reducing the maximum material temperature to 2700 F increases the mission energy consumption by only 1.5%. Thus achieving a 3000 F temperature in CMCs is important but not central to achieving the energy consumption objective of the N3-X/TeDP. A key parameter in the efficiency of superconducting motors and generators is the size of the superconducting filaments in the stator. The size of the superconducting filaments in the baseline model is assumed to be 10 microns. A 40 micron filament, which represents current technology, results in a 200% increase in AC losses in the motor and generator stators. This analysis shows that for a system with 40 micron filaments the higher stator losses plus the added weight and power of larger cryocoolers results in a 4% increase in mission energy consumption. If liquid hydrogen is used to cool the superconductors the 40 micron fibers results in a 200% increase in hydrogen required for cooling. Each pound of hydrogen used as fuel displaces 3 pounds of jet fuel. For the N3-X on the reference mission the additional hydrogen due to the increase stator losses reduces the total fuel weight 10%. The lighter fuel load and attendant vehicle resizing reduces the total energy consumption more than the higher stator losses increase it. As a result with hydrogen cooling there is a slight reduction in mission energy consumption with increasing stator losses. This counter intuitive result highlights the need to consider the full system impact of changes rather than just at the component or subsystem level.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Felder, James L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Tong, Michael T.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Chu, Julio
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 27, 2013
Publication Date
July 30, 2012
Subject Category
Aircraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference
Location: Atlanta, GA
Country: United States
Start Date: July 30, 2012
End Date: August 1, 2012
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 561581.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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