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Conceptual Design, Sizing and Performance Analysis of a Cryo-Electric Propulsion System for a Next-Generation Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

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posted on 2021-12-09, 13:29 authored by Christian Hartmann, Jonas Kristiansen NølandJonas Kristiansen Nøland, Robert Nilssen, Runar Mellerud
In this paper, we present a comprehensive sizing and performance analysis framework for a disruptive cryo-electric propulsion system intended for a hydrogen-powered regional aircraft. The main innovation lies in the systematic treatment of all the electrical and thermal components to model the overall system performance. One of the main objectives is to study the feasibility of using the liquid hydrogen (LH\textsubscript{2}) fuel to provide cryogenic cooling to the electric propulsion system, and thereby enable ultra-compact designs. Another aim has been to identify the optimal working point of the fuel cell to minimize the overall propulsion system's mass. The full mission profile is evaluated to make the analysis as realistic as possible. Analyses are done for three different 2035 scenarios, where available data from the literature are projected to a baseline, conservative, and optimistic scenario. The analysis shows that the total propulsion system's power density can be as high as 1.63 kW/kg in the optimistic scenario and 0.79 kW/kg in the baseline scenario. In the optimistic scenario, there is also sufficient cryogenic cooling capacity in the hydrogen to secure proper conditions for all components, whereas the DC/DC converter falls outside the defined limit of 110 K in the baseline scenario.


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Institute for Energy Technology / Norwegian University of Science and Technology

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  • Norway