Assessing CO2 reduction potential for regional aircraft
Preliminary aircraft design is a complex interdisciplinary process combining technologies from a very diverse portfolio. Thus, reasonable and fast methods to evaluate the implications of new or alternative technologies are required. A previously developed method to assess the mass and emissions impacts of various hybrid-electric propulsion systems has been refined and compared to state-of-the-art high-end aircraft design tools (APD).
Bauhaus Luftfahrt therefore presents an explicit form for the evaluation of emission reduction potentials, for example, based upon a correlation between a simplified mission power demand profile, component specifications and aircraft mass characteristics. The mission profile is approximated by a multi-step power profile with the help of dimensionless parameters accounting for peak power, mean climb-out power and cruise power. The method characterises hybrid-electric propulsion systems allowing for the identification of beneficial applications.
Based on this method, the calculated trip fuel for typical state-of-the-art short-range aircraft is within 2 %, compared to the APD aircraft design tool, indicating a high fidelity of the assessment method. Ensuring a good agreement to the reference allows for a thorough and fast evaluation of different hybrid-electric propulsion systems.
Therefore, the method described herein helps to identify the best-suitable hybrid power system and provides transparent analytical traceability for technology impact analysis in order to fulfil future emissions reduction goals with combinations of energy carriers and conversion devices depending on power levels and mission times scaled to a benchmark.