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Advanced Superconducting Motor Experimental Demonstrator

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ASuMED (Advanced Superconducting Motor Experimental Demonstrator)

Reporting period: 2017-05-01 to 2018-10-31

Air traffic is projected to grow worldwide by 5% each year in the near future. Thus, the ACARE Flightpath 2050 emission targets seek reductions in CO2 by 75%, NOx and particulates by 90%, and noise by 65% compared to the year 2000 status. Incremental improvements of the conventional ‘tube and wing’ aircraft configuration will not be sufficient to meet these targets. In contrast, Distributed Propulsion (DP, Figure 1) is a breakthrough approach, which opens the aircraft design space in order to reduce massively fuel consumption, emissions and noise.

To realise these gains, the DP equipment must be low weight and highly efficient. At the high power levels (1 to 5 MW/motor) required for large aircraft propulsion (e.g. A320, A350 sized aircraft), superconducting technology in generators, motors and transmission is therefore seen as the major enabler for DP. In particular, significant progress is required in the machine’s electrical efficiency and power density.

ASuMED is building the first fully superconducting motor prototype achieving the power densities and efficiencies needed for hybrid-electric distributed propulsion (HEDP) of future large civil aircrafts. HEDP offers a route to achieve the reductions in fuel consumption and emission targeted by Flightpath 2050, mentioned above.
The activities of the first project period focused on the elaboration of the requirements and the design of the intended fully superconducting motor prototype and its components. For further information on the technical work and achievements, see WP summaries below.

WP1, System requirements & motor topology
- Definition of the top-level requirements for the motor system and its components
- Elaboration of the overall motor system topology
- Topology of the main motor components (stator, rotor, cryostat, power electronics and control)

WP2, System design and modelling
- Characterization of the SC materials and collection in a data-base
- Investigation of options for the stack magnetization of the rotor stator winding configurations
- Development of a novel numerical approach to model the magnetic flux density and AC losses in the motor combining FEM and MEMEP computations
- Numerical simulations regarding the effectiveness of superconducting shields
- Elaboration of an innovative dual-two-level inverter design
- Definition of coolant fluids and the cryostat for the motor demonstrator

WP3, Stator development
- Definition of the stator concept with all components and interfaces
- Validation of the concept by numerous calculations and simulations, establishment of interfaces for the particular models
- Dimensioning of stator cooling circuit by analytic and numerical modeling and integration into the winding structure
- Concept for the integration of the inverter and power supply

WP4, Rotor development
- Development and validation of several modelling approaches for the rotor and integration of the tools
- Iterative development of the rotor design with all relevant parts and simulative validation of the options
- First experimental validations, e.g. for the investigation of cross-field effects and solutions

WP5, Airborne cryogenic cooler
- Specification of the cryocooler, including targets for mass and power consumption
- Preliminary process study with several best cycle architectures, e.g. Turbo-Brayton or Stirling
- Parametrical process variable analysis on the selected cooling cycle to determine the most appropriate tradeoff between input power and mass

WP6, Assembly and testing
The assembly of the demonstrator is scheduled for the 2nd period of the project. Some activities have already been performed related to testing equipment for material and motor parts. Several setups were established to provide information on critical topics.

WP 7, Dissemination and exploitation:
The activities in WP7 are mainly related to dissemination, while the exploitation will mainly happen at the end of the project. An internal dissemination plan has been elaborated, collecting dissemination opportunities as well as conducted activities. A number of dissemination activities of project results already happened.

WP 8, Project management:
The project has been initialized, including the setup of the project bodies and the initiation of the internal management and communication processes. The project progress was monitored w.r.t. to the project plan by the Coordinator and the General Assembly and the quality of the project results as well as the project risks were managed.
The ASuMED prototype will outperform state-of-the-art e-motors with normal conductive technologies. The project work focuses on the development of an innovative motor topology, a superconducting stator and rotor, a magnetization system as well as a light and highly efficient cryostat for the motor.
In addition, novel numerical modeling methods are developed, and an airborne cryogenic cooling system design is investigated to evaluate the gap between the state of the art cryocooling technology and the expected aircraft cryocooling system.
Further, a highly dynamic, fail-safe and robust control of superconducting machines is realized by a modular inverter topology. Final tests evaluate the technology´s benefits and allow its integration into designs for future aircraft.

Technical targets:
- development and demonstration of a new fully superconducting motor concept for high power aircraft propulsion with both superconducting stator and rotor, for an evaluation under lab conditions (TRL 4); in addition, the supporting cryocooling approach for aerospace will be raised from TRL 1 to TRL 2,
- high-temperature superconducting (HTS) stator with an electric loading of >450kA/m and integrated magnetization system,
- rotor concept using HTS stacks operating like permanent magnets and a magnetic loading of >2.5 T,
- light, highly efficient cryostat for the motor combined with an associated power converter,
- prototype for demonstration with ~1 MW power at 6.000rpm thermal loss <0.1%, and scalability to higher power values,
- investigation of a new airborne cryogenic cooling system,
- novel numerical 2D/3D modelling methods for superconducting motors,
- innovative modular inverter topology with enhanced failure protection.

Main economic and societal impacts of the project will be:
- As an essential enabler for DP based large civil transport aircraft, the application of the ASuMED developments will have a large environmental impact, and will help to meet the target reductions of noise by 71db, NOx by 75% and fuel burn by 70% (compared to the year 2000 base case).
- The competitiveness of the European aviation industry will be strengthened by new market opportunities. Electric DP can be considered as a disruptive technology, which has the potential to completely change existing value chains. An early leadership of EU companies is necessary to develop new products, services and solutions resulting in a massive economic growth in the EU aviation industry.
- Highest efficiency of the new systems reduces fuel consumption and may enable longer flight ranges or different mission profiles.
- The project’s results can be applied in further markets, e.g. wind turbines, transportation (rail and shipping), new torque motors for industrial drives etc.
Example distributed propoulsion