Systematic Approach to an Improved Electrical Power System Architecture for a Future More Electric Airplane 2021-01-0034
Commercial transport airplane technology is moving toward a next generation More Electric Airplane (MEA) in order to further improve airplane performance and efficiency. Electricity is seeing increased use for power generation, transmission and energy storage in place of less efficient pneumatics and hydraulics. The MEA is also a technology enabler for new environmentally friendly electrical generation and storage devices such as fuel cells, batteries and super capacitors. Successful use of these new technologies requires systematically analyzing the interface of these technologies with each other, and with other systems that impact overall airplane performance, efficiency, weight and reliability. In this paper, incremental changes in the airplane power system will be analyzed. With each of these changes, the benefits to the electrical power system and the impact that each change has on the airplane will be estimated. These incremental changes and their impact will be incorporated into an example system architecture along with cumulative quantitative impacts resulting from each of these changes. This will show how these incremental changes and architectural improvements will provide the efficiency and other improvement necessary to result in a successful future MEA.