Potential and Limitations of Battery-Powered All-Electric Regional Flights -- A Norwegian Case Study
preprintposted on 2022-03-30, 04:58 authored by Trym Bærheim, Jacob J. Lamb, Jonas Kristiansen NølandJonas Kristiansen Nøland, Odne S. Burheim
This paper aims to shed light on the possibility of first-generation electric aviation in Norway by looking at both the potential and the limitations of today’s technology while emphasizing Norway’s geographical opportunities and unique regional network as a pioneer in this field. Operating a flight distance up to 400 km would cover around 77 % of all domestic flights in Norway. In this work, the key factors influencing the scalability of electric flight are investigated and critically discussed, including battery technologies, propulsion systems, aircraft designs, and important aspects of the flight profile. A case study is presented based on five different flight distances in Norway (from 77 km to 392 km) and two different aircraft bodies. Our proposed framework is used to make detailed-level calculations for the required power, energy, and battery state of charge. The results show that slight energy density improvements in the battery technology would facilitate the implementation of electric aircraft, rendering the possibility of retrofitting already existing planes. However, other alternatives, such as novel aircraft design and adjusted mission profiles, are also viable options for complying with weight and power capability requirements to scale up all-electric aircraft for distances up to 400 km.