The goal of this investigation is to propose a series/parallel hybrid electric power system for ultralight aviation designed to improve safety and, possibly, reduce fuel consumption. The power system consists of a Wankel engine, two electric machines, a battery, and a planetary gear set, all acquired from the automotive market. After a preliminary design based on takeoff power, the system is simulated over a typical flight mission and in case of engine failure for a first validation of the proposed powertrain. The investigation also shows a comparison in terms of performance and fuel consumption between the initial configuration (reciprocating piston engine), a non-hybrid Wankel arrangement, and the proposed hybrid electric configurations by using in-house simulation software. A heuristic energy management strategy is proposed as well. During a typical mission, the new powertrain works as a parallel hybrid during takeoff and climb, thus ensuring high performance and safety. During the cruise, the system behaves like a parallel hybrid with a continuously variable transmission that makes the engine work always at high efficiency. The battery is partially recharged during the descent by the extra power of the engine. The preliminary results reported in this work predict an improvement in fuel consumption by about 20% compared with the initial piston engine configuration and 28% compare with the non-hybrid Wankel powertrain, despite the larger takeoff weight.

Increasing Safety in Ultralight Aviation with a Wankel-Based Series/Parallel Hybrid Electric Power System

T. Donateo
Conceptualization
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The goal of this investigation is to propose a series/parallel hybrid electric power system for ultralight aviation designed to improve safety and, possibly, reduce fuel consumption. The power system consists of a Wankel engine, two electric machines, a battery, and a planetary gear set, all acquired from the automotive market. After a preliminary design based on takeoff power, the system is simulated over a typical flight mission and in case of engine failure for a first validation of the proposed powertrain. The investigation also shows a comparison in terms of performance and fuel consumption between the initial configuration (reciprocating piston engine), a non-hybrid Wankel arrangement, and the proposed hybrid electric configurations by using in-house simulation software. A heuristic energy management strategy is proposed as well. During a typical mission, the new powertrain works as a parallel hybrid during takeoff and climb, thus ensuring high performance and safety. During the cruise, the system behaves like a parallel hybrid with a continuously variable transmission that makes the engine work always at high efficiency. The battery is partially recharged during the descent by the extra power of the engine. The preliminary results reported in this work predict an improvement in fuel consumption by about 20% compared with the initial piston engine configuration and 28% compare with the non-hybrid Wankel powertrain, despite the larger takeoff weight.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/470285
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