Modeling of Ducted-Fan and Motor in an Electric Aircraft and a Preliminary Integrated Design
Abstract Electric ducted-fans with high power density are widely used in hybrid aircraft, electric aircraft, and VTOL vehicles. For the state-of-the-art electric ducted-fan, motor cooling restricts the power density increase. A motor design model based on the fan hub-to-tip ratio proposed in this article reveals that the thermal coupling effect between fan aerodynamic design and motor cooling design has great potential to increase the power density of the motor in an electric propulsion system. A smaller hub-to-tip ratio is preferred as long as the power balance and cooling balance are satisfied. Parametric study on a current 6 kW electric ducted-fan system shows that the highest motor power density could be increased by 246% based on the current technology. Finally, a preliminary design was obtained and experiments were conducted to prove the feasibility of the model.