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NIPSE Report Summary

Project ID: 636218
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NIPSE (Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

NIPSE (Novel Integration of Powerplant System Equipment) is a 3-year research and innovation project in the field of aeronautical engineering, launched in June 2015. The project addresses 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 to move 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 backward installation of the equipment potentially impacts the access time for maintenance activities.
Based on these various complexities, the technological solutions developed within NIPSE focus 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. They will allow the project to achieve three main objectives: (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 backward position of the engine equipment in the nacelle, to prevent passenger impact.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

NIPSE is organised in a total of 6 Work Packages (WP), four of them responsible for the technical work, and the other two dealing with managerial and dissemination activities.
WP1 – Requirements & Benefits – is in charge of defining the technical requirements of all the work to be developed in WP2, WP3 and WP4. These requirements will be 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.
In the first reporting period of the project, WP1 defined the technical requirements which were then used as technical needs by the partners working in WP2, WP3 and WP4. Based on these technical needs, specific assessment criteria were defined, allowing to compare and evaluate the benefits of the solutions developed by the partners.
WP2 – Thermal Cooling solutions – is responsible for developing different solutions for performing the cooling of engine fluids within the IPPS. This includes review of novel technologies in view of developing technologies with a minimal negative impact on the IPPS, whilst maximising the cooling benefit provided.
So far, a number of innovative cooling technologies were investigated and assessed, allowing to identify three potential solutions to improve the thermal management. Progress towards testing of the identified solutions was also achieved with a testing rig built and design of a testing demonstrator started.
WP3 – IPPS Equipment Installation and Optimisation – works on new optimisation methodologies to optimise in 3D space the multiple variables needed to be managed for the definition of the IPPS installation. It generates key methodologies which will be used to assess the technology benefits driven through WP2 and WP4.
Since the beginning of the project, WP3 has worked on the development of the planned optimisation tool and was able to provide an initial, operational version of the tool, proving ability to optimise in 3D with limited variables.
WP4 – Equipment Development – focuses on the development of new equipment and connectivity solutions for electrical and pneumatic systems so as to come up with lower weight, lower volume and more robust solutions for the systems addressed within the IPPS.
As to the main achievements in WP4 during the first reporting period, a Preliminary Design of novel Hold Open Rod/Actuator was developed, a conceptual design for SOV has been completed, a novel architecture for electrical systems could be identified, and four references of fire detector cables have been manufactured and successfully tested with new, more stable ceramics.
WP5 – Project Management –provides the project management infrastructure to ensure the efficient coordination of the project, and to monitor the respect of all contractual obligations.
Following a successful launch of the project, common working procedures, as well as management methods and tools were established. Various project meetings were held, gathering either the decision making bodies of the project or the WP contributors.
WP6 – Dissemination and Exploitation – supports the dissemination of the project results through various means, while preparing the exploitation of the results after the project. This WP is also in charge of creating an Advisory Group providing their expertise to the project and evaluate its results.
Since project start, a detailed dissemination strategy was established, a public project website created, and various dissemination material prepared, amongst them a first press release, a poster, and a public presentation. The NIPSE Advisory Group was created with a first meeting held in November 2016.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

NIPSE will provide new installation and thermal management technologies at Technology Readiness Level 3 to assist the development of future engines. With its proposed equipment and integration solutions, NIPSE will act as enabler of the novel engine architectures examined through other projects such as LEMCOTEC, E-BREAK, and ENOVAL. The results will lead to an improvement of the equipment system allowing, in short and medium-term, to come up with a propulsion system design that taps the full potential of current and emerging designs through further optimisation.
The expected improvement of the equipment system will also benefit the environment and contribute to the huge efforts required to maintain global leadership for aviation in Europe. The aviation sector being a key component of Europe’s Gross Domestic Product and employment, NIPSE will also allow to meet the needs of the European citizens. However, the NIPSE technologies being still under development, no measurable socio-economic impact or wider societal implications could be identified so far.

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