Advanced Electric Propulsion System (AEPS)

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Program:
ASCEND
Award:
$1,799,216
Location:
Phoenix,
Arizona
Status:
ACTIVE
Project Term:
08/01/2021 - 01/31/2023

Critical Need:

It is estimated that flights on narrow-body aircraft are responsible for nearly half of aviation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A decarbonized, narrow-body aircraft with electrified propulsion would provide the greatest impact on GHG emissions from a single aircraft type. ARPA-E seeks to mitigate the growing environmental burden associated with commercial air travel at minimum economic cost by developing elements of an ultra-high efficient aircraft propulsion system that uses carbon neutral liquid fuels (CNLFs). It is anticipated that the developed lightweight and high-efficiency all-electric powertrains will find direct application in the emerging urban air mobility, unmanned aircraft aerial vehicle, and select regional aircraft markets. These markets are likely to be the first adopters before the technology scales to a single-aisle aircraft.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Honeywell Aerospace and the University of Maryland propose to develop a novel high-voltage 500 kW advanced electric propulsion system (AEPS) with a high efficiency and a high-power density. The system will provide direct drive to the propulsive device without using a torque amplifier for low weight, cost, and volume, and high reliability. The major components, the electric rotating machine (motor) and the motor drive (power and control electronics), will be heavily integrated for better performance, sharing a common chassis and cooling system. The AEPS will include a highly effective and innovative thermal management system. This system will use high-speed air flow from the aircraft propulsor wash to cool the power electronics and the motor via an innovative heat sink integrated into the AEPS housing that minimizes the thermal resistance by using a novel flow distributer geometry and reducing the convective resistance. Other key innovations enable overall machine weight reduction without compromising efficiency, such as the use of high-performance windings, which increases the copper fill factor for increased machine efficiency and thermal and electric conductivities.

Potential Impact:

The ASCEND program has the potential to accelerate innovations and cause disruptive changes in the emerging electric aviation field.

Security:

The program will further enhance U.S. technology dominance in the field of high-performance electric motors for hybrid electric aviation. Electrified aircraft architectures can increase reliability by increasing redundancy.

Environment:

An all-electric propulsion system operating on CNLF would have net-zero emissions and be much quieter for passengers and people in the vicinity of airports.

Economy:

By targeting propulsion system efficiency and specific power improvements, CNLF-powered, zero-net emission aircraft will be capable of a longer range and reduced fuel cost, making them economically more attractive.

Contact

ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Peter de Bock
Project Contact:
Mr. Mohamed Salam
Press and General Inquiries Email:
ARPA-E-Comms@hq.doe.gov
Project Contact Email:
Mohamed.Salam@Honeywell.com

Partners

University of Maryland

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Release Date:
12/17/2019