Browse Publications Technical Papers 2018-01-1935

Towards Two and Three-Channel Electrical Architecture Design for More-Electric Engines 2018-01-1935

In recent years, the More-Electric Aircraft (MEA) concept has undergone significant development and refinement, striving towards the attainment of reductions in noise and CO2 emissions, increased power transmission efficiency and improved reliability under a range of flight scenarios. The More-Electric Engine (MEE) is increasingly being seen as a key complementary system to the MEA. With this concept, conventional engine auxiliary systems (fuel pump, oil pump, engine actuation) will be replaced by the electrically-driven equivalents, providing even greater scope for the combined aircraft and engine electrical power system optimisation and management. This concept, coupled with extraction of electrical power from multiple engine spools also has the potential to deliver significant fuel burn savings. To date, single or dual channel electrical power generation and distribution systems have been used in engine and aircraft. However, with the increasing electrification of flight-critical engine auxiliaries and the requirement for greater load transfer flexibility, three channel architectures require consideration. To this end, this paper investigates the potential concepts for a three-channel power system architecture in an MEE system. It considers issues including architecture layout, load and power management strategy, power supply priority, redundancy requirements and electrical fault protection. Using an extensive database of public domain MEA/MEE power system component failure rates, a detailed fault tree analysis is then presented. This provides a quantitative comparison of dual channel and three-channel architectures under the pertinent failure modes as well as showing the impact of common architecture features on system reliability and robustness. The paper concludes with a discussion of key system operating functions and technology requirements needed to successfully realise flexible and robust three-channel architectures.


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