Improving green taxiing capabilities for turboprops
The next generation of turboprop aircraft engines could be a gamechanger for green aviation.
COP26 has set a clear goal of securing global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5°C within reach. To deliver this target, it is critical that the transportation sector speeds up the electrification process.
The ACHIEVE system enables the green taxiing capabilities of next-generation turboprops with zero emissions when aircraft are on the ground, using battery-powered propellers with the engine off.
As airports are very polluted areas, the green-taxiing capability will significantly improve the air quality around airport. Furthermore, with the engine switched off, the noise from an aircraft will also be dramatically reduced.
To achieve their goals, a high-speed, high-power-density mechatronic device for next-generation turboprop aircraft engine applications was developed by the ACHIEVE consortium (University of Nottingham, NEMA and PST) together with Safran Helicopter engines.
The mechatronic device, which will be integrated into an aircraft engine gear box, enables green taxiing of future turboprops when running as a motor. The same device is used as a generator system when the aircraft is in the air and supply electrical power to on board load. It’s been successfully tested in University of Nottingham (UNOTT) testing facilities with full power (100%) and full speed (100%). The power density of electrical machine and power electronics within ACHIEVE system are 7.2kW/kg and 9.2kW/kg respectively.
More than 10 different machine topologies were investigated and compared during this process, using trade-off studies in terms of power, efficiency, size and volume, etc. 3D printing was also used to develop the stator.
The project partners were UNOTT, NEMA and PST while the topic manager was Safran Helicopter Engines. Total EU funding for the project was EUR 900,591.25. The ACHIEVE consortium would like to specially thank Ms. Rosario Trillo-Rivas for her continuous support during the project implementation stages.