Electric Thermal Management Architectures 2013-01-2164
The escalation of vehicle operating costs due to continuously rising fuel prices has prompted aircraft designers to focus on more energy efficient designs. Among the heavy energy consumers in aircraft operations, the thermal management system is one of the largest. This is especially true of the refrigeration system powered by engine bleed air power. With the push towards more electric vehicles, an entirely new trade space has been opened up with regards to electric thermal management and the cost of bleed air versus electrical power. Despite favorable energy savings, the electric approach has increased the burden on the propulsion engine shaft power extraction systems (gearbox and drive train), electrical generators, power conditioning units, and electrical distribution systems. This paper presents potential architectures which utilize energy recovery and integration principles to address the challenges on the power generating system. These architectures suggest unique features offering opportunities to reduce overall system weight and installation volume, all while providing improved vehicle efficiency as a result of bleed and ram air usage reduction.