An Electrical Load Estimation Tool for Aircraft Conceptual Design 2013-01-2206
During the development of an aircraft, a comprehensive understanding of the electrical load profile is essential to properly estimate the required electrical power to be generated and distributed by the electrical system, also known as EPGDS - Electrical Power Generation and Distribution System.
By sizing the EPGDS early in the development process, system parameters like weight and volume can be estimated and applied to the multidisciplinary design optimization process, in search for optimized design solutions at the conceptual aircraft level when developing integrated aircraft systems.
With this in mind, a methodology was developed to estimate the amount of electrical power required by the aircraft systems during a typical mission flight cycle. Based on aircraft parameters available at conceptual design level, such as number of passengers, cabin volume, wing area etc., electrical loads are estimated and provide the main input information for the electrical system preliminary sizing, technology selection and architecture exploration. As the methodology is implemented by means of a computer tool, several scenarios can be explored in a rapid and incremental fashion, including capabilities like the automatic generation of electrical load profile plots, automatic finding of the sizing point and electrical generators sizing depending on pre-defined settings.
Overall, the presented methodology and tool bring significant improvements to the maturity of conceptual aircraft design by improving initial estimation of the aircraft level impact (in terms of weight, volume, cost, and fuel consumption) of the electrical system.