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Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - NIPSE (Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-05-31

NIPSE (Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment) was a 3-year research and innovation project in the field of aeronautical engineering, launched in June 2015. The project addressed key equipment and integration challenges linked to novel aircraft engine architectures, in particular Ultra-High Bypass Ratio (UHBR) powerplants.

Emerging new aircraft engine solutions offer the potential for significant reduction in fuel burn, emissions, and noise, which is in line with today’s environmental and societal needs. More precisely, these novel engine architectures allow for improvements in propulsion efficiency by increasing the bypass ratio of the air drawn-in through the fan disk and passing through the nacelle, without more energy being needed.
However, this propulsion efficiency gain does not automatically lead to an improvement in fuel burn, due to several opposing factors: (1) To increase the bypass ratio, the fan diameter has to be increased, leading to bigger nacelle dimensions and an increase in nacelle drag, due to a larger frontal surface area. (2) Aerodynamic losses in the fan duct result in higher performance penalties for UHBR engines, due to the very low fan pressure ratio. (3) Fan operability issues may require some additional devices to ensure effective engine operation.
These factors make it indispensable to come up with technological enablers, such as operability control devices and a shorter and slimmer nacelle. A slimmer nacelle, however, requires moving the equipment installed within the engine and IPPS (Integrated PowerPlant System) away from the fan compartment in the hotter core zone, where temperatures are up to 150°C higher than in the fan zone. At the same time, the installation of the equipment in the core area potentially impacts the access time for maintenance activities.

Based on these various complexities, the technological solutions developed within NIPSE focused on smaller equipment, novel electrical and pneumatic interconnections, more efficient heat exchangers and multivariable optimisation methodologies allowing for equipment integration into the aircraft engine nacelle in a more time and cost-efficient way.

The objectives were described as followed : (1) 15% reduction of the volume required for the IPPS equipment and for temperature deduction functions, and the associated weight of the system and connections, allowing for a 2-3 % fuel burn reduction; (2) 10% reduction of the development time of future engine systems, such as UHBR engines, through an optimised equipment integration; (3) Low access time for maintenance activities despite the optimised position of the engine equipment rearwards in the powerplant, to prevent passenger impact.
NIPSE was organised in six Work Packages (WP), four of them responsible for the technical work, and the other two dealing with managerial and dissemination activities.

WP1 – Requirements & Benefits – was in charge of defining the technical requirements of all the work to be developed in WP2, WP3 and WP4. These requirements were used as a guidance to ensure the compatibility of the developed solutions with a generic IPPS environment and the challenges linked to the UHBR engine. The innovative solutions developed by the partners in WP2 to WP4 were analysed at equipment and IPPS levels and allowed to identify the technical and economic impacts of the solutions as well as the potential associated risks at the IPPS or aircraft level. A list of improvements of the development process that must be leveraged in future IPPS developments was produced.

WP2 – Thermal Cooling solutions – focused on developing different solutions for performing the cooling of engine fluids within the IPPS. This included review of novel technologies in view of developing technologies with a minimal negative impact on the IPPS, whilst maximizing the cooling benefit provided.

WP3 – IPPS Equipment Installation and Optimisation – enabled the development of new optimisation methodologies to optimize in 3D space the multiple variables needed to be managed for the definition of the IPPS installation. The key methodologies generated were used to assess the technology benefits driven through WP2 and WP4.

WP4 – Equipment Development –developed new equipment solutions and connectivity for electrical and pneumatic systems so as to be able to produce a lower weight, lower volume and more robust solution for the systems addressed within the IPPS.

WP5 – Project Management –provided the project management infrastructure to ensure the efficient coordination of the project, and to monitor the respect of all contractual obligations. This enabled the successful delivery of all deliverables and commitments throughout the project duration.

WP6 – Dissemination and Exploitation – implemented and followed the dissemination strategy of the project and continuously updated the information related to publications, events or any relevant documentation on the Public Website. A successful Final Public workshop was organised and held on April 2018 during the ILA Airshow, gathering 60 participants among whom the NIPSE project Officer who opened the workshop. Finally, the public deliverables D6.5: Exploitation and development plans and D6.6: Position paper which closed the NIPSE project were produced and submitted in due time.
The NIPSE project achieved the objectives as set out in the Grant Agreement, by developing some key technologies (from TRL1 to TRL5) which are meant to provide more competitive solutions for future aero-engines architectures.

In terms of technical measurable results, at a global engine nacelle level, NIPSE delivered results impacting by:
• 45% improvement in the development time for tasks addressed in the NIPSE project compared to existing practices
• keeping line maintenance interventions and times in line with current practices
• Increase of 11% in volume IPPS for equipment, offset through ability to locate in different locations within the IPPS, delivering drag reduction and enabling manageable installation in future UHBR engines.
• Cumulative -24.3% weight reduction on key equipment, with each individual technology satisfying the objective.

These impacts enabled NIPSE to reduce the development, production and certification impacts for future UHBR engines, to enable the fuel burn reduction planned in engine research development of 2 to 3 % by allowing smaller, thinner nacelles to be produced for engines of the UHBR IPPS architecture.

Thus, the NIPSE project achieved most of its technical goals, providing an estimated 0.31% IPPS fuel burn reduction, and has led to some partners launching further development projects due to the technologies gained within the NIPSE programmes, e.g. Meggitt Aerospace.

Finally, through their participation to FP7 Project ENOVAL Annual review, where all European engines manufacturers were present and the organisation of the NIPSE Final Public Workshop at ILA Berlin which gathered more than 60 participants, the NIPSE partners shared the key objectives and achievements of the project to other programmes and potential partners.
The technologies developed are described in detail in D6.5: Exploitation and Development plans. A Position Paper, part of D6.6 is also being shared with members of EqIMG, E-IMG and Cleansky JU.
NIPSE Work breakdown structure
NIPSE Challenge of System Integration into the IPPS