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Rolls Readies Hybrid Airliner Propulsion Trials

Aug 16,2021

Rolls-Royce has delivered the generator and related power electronics for its 2.5-MW Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator from the company¡¯s facility in Trondheim, Norway, to the newly renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol, UK. The relocation of the propulsion system, designed to power regional airliners, followed what the aero engines group called an extensive development test program in an announcement on Thursday.

The generator can be applied to hybrid-electric propulsion systems or be used as part of a ¡°more-electric¡± system for larger aircraft. PGS1¡ªconsidered the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system developed to date for aerospace applications¡ªaccounts for an important part of Rolls-Royce¡¯s sustainability strategy, which includes developing innovative electrical power and propulsion systems, as well as further improving gas turbine performance and promoting the use of sustainable aviation fuels.

The company has already tested the program¡¯s AE2100 engine element, specialist controls, and thermal management system at Testbed 108.

¡°Our generator is about the size of a beer keg but it needs to produce enough electricity to continuously power around 2,500 homes,¡± said Adam Newman, Rolls-Royce's chief design engineer for Aviation Futures. ¡°That is breaking new ground in terms of what is physically possible.¡±

Once ground tested, PGS1 will provide a technology basis for any future hybrid aircraft program requiring MW power, said Rolls. The UK Aerospace Technology Institute¡¯s MegaFlight project has supported both Testbed 108 and PGS1, while the European Union Clean Sky 2 program supports the 2.5-MW electrical generator, motor, and power electronics design in Trondheim.

The generator can apply to either hybrid-electric propulsion systems or as part of a ¡°more-electric¡± system for larger aircraft. Once ground tested, PGS1 will provide a technology basis for any future hybrid aircraft program requiring megawatt-class power, said Rolls.

As a high value-added, high-tech industry, civil aircraft mechanical and electrical industry is not only an important part of aviation industry, but also an important field of technological innovation and development. Aviation mechanical and electrical industry covers a wide range of professional, high-tech content, high added value, easy to expand to other fields, can drive electronics, advanced materials, special and precision processing, metallurgy, chemical industry and other technologies and industries, is the country, especially developed countries in Europe and the United States attach great importance to the industry. In comparison, there is still a big gap between the core technology of China's aviation mechanical and electrical system and developed countries, and there is plenty of room for progress in scientific and technological innovation.

Under this background,the 5th Aero Electromechanics China forum will be held in the city of Yangzhou on October 28th - 29th, 2021, register your interestor get in touch with Lucy for more details.

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