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Innovation in Cooperation Airbus Group – Euro-CASE Workshop

Post-Event Notification

Innovation in Cooperation

Airbus Group – Euro-CASE Workshop

Regional Electrical Aircraft

Critical Technologies Review
June 30 to July 1, 2015
Airbus Group Corporate Technical Office (CTO)
European Council of Academies of Applied Sciences, Technologies and Engineering (Euro-CASE)




 Unterschleißheim, Munich, Germany

 
   

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Abstract

Environmental and climate change concerns are influencing the Airbus Group long-term strategy.  The Group has launched an ambitious project to define the path forward and select the breakthrough technologies needed for a low or zero-emission hybrid or fully electrical regional short- to medium-haul aircraft to be developed in the next 15 to 20 years.  The aircraft is expected to be an 80- or 90-seater with autonomy of up to 3 hours and an operating radius of up to 2500 km.

Euro-CASE was a partner in organising and holding a 2 days exploratory workshop in late June (30/6-1/7) 2015, near Munich, Germany, to identify the necessary key technologies and materials as well as their potential to reach the required performances for making the future e-aircraft a reality.  The Euro-CASE Board had approved this partnership in its December 2, 2014 meeting in Brussels.

The workshop has brought together 13 key-players in the Airbus Group R&D and 20 pertinent experts nominated by Euro-CASE academies (see attached list). Its outcome will decide future interactions of Euro-CASE with Airbus. This first workshop was neither public nor confidential.

The major hurdles for building a fully electrically powered aircraft are the low energy density and voltage achievable by today’s batteries and fuel cells, and the resistivity of copper cables at the high voltages needed for electrically driven thrust.  In our fact-finding discussions with Airbus, technologies in the following areas were recognised as key-enablers and their exploration during the workshop was therefore regarded as a priority:

  • High temperature superconductivity, including for cables and generators.
  • Energy storage density (batteries, fuel cells) on board (in-flight applications) and power management/distribution across large current/voltage scales
  • Materials and technologies for power trains, including cables, energy/electricity storage, generators.

The workshop came to the following conclusions:

  • Superconductivity for cables is already fairly advanced and if prices for High Temperature Superconductors come down as and when market forces exert their pressure, they may even become affordable.
  • Additional progress in driving HTS critical temperatures further up is theoretically possible
  • Conventional electrical motors have the potential to suffice the requirements for electrical airplanes already up to medium power levels, without superconductivity, especially Transverse Flux Machines.
  • Incorporated HTS would substantially increase efficiency and power to mass ratio of electrical motors, dispense them of having iron cores, but add significantly to complexity.
  • Lithium-Ion batteries are currently the most advanced commercial battery types and further improvement of energy density is possible, having doubled in the last 10 years.  However, we still have a long way to go in order to reach the required density of 1000Wh/kg.  Other types of batteries such as Li-air, Li-S, and Magnesium batteries are more promising and hybrid types may emerge.
  • Fuel cells do not pose a major problem at the cell and system level but do so at the level of hydrogen storage, which poses a problem in terms of space.  Only if hydrogen is stored in liquid form becomes energy density in terms of Wh/m3 acceptable, which poses technical problems (maintaining H2 temperature below 20° Kelvin).
  • Micro-grid management can teach us how to implement effective on board power management.

Three topical teams will continue exploring potential progress in Superconductivity, Energy Storage, and the Power Train.


 

List of Participants

Participants (Euro-CASE)

Affiliation / Nomination by

Dr. Paul ADCOCK

Intelligent Energy / Royal Academy of Engineering

Prof. Miroljub ADŽIĆ

Academy of Engineering Sciences of Serbia

Prof. Mihaela Marilena ALBU

Politehnica University of Bukarest / Romanian Academy of Technical Sciences

Dr. Laurent ANTONI

CEA / National Academy of Technology of France (NATF)

Dr. Christian-Eric BRUZEK

NEXANS, France / NATF

Prof. Roberto DOMINKO

National Institute of Chemistry, Lubljana / Engineering Academy of Slovenia

Dr. David FRABOULET

CEA / NATF

Prof. Chris GERADA

University of Nottingham / Royal Academy of Engineering

Dr. Josef KALLO

German Aerospace Center, Electrochemical Energy Technology / acatech

Dr. Teodoro LAINO

IBM / Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences

Prof. Dominique LARCHER

CNRS Université Amiens, France / NATF

Dr. Klaus LEITNER

BASF SE - New Technologies / acatech

Prof. Antonio MORANDI

University of Bologna, Italy / NATF

Prof.  Jacobo SANTAMARIA Sánchez-Barriga

Complutense University of Madrid, Spain / NATF

Dr. Suchitra SEBASTIAN

University of Cambridge, UK / NATF

Dr. Tadeusz SKOCZKOWSKI

Polish Academy of Sciences

Dr. Tine TOMAZIC

University of Lubljana / Engineering Academy of Slovenia

Prof. Stephen WILLIAMSON

Royal Academy of Engineering

Prof. Martin WINTER

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster / acatech

Dr. Olaf WOLLERSHEIM

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) / acatech

 

Participants (Airbus Group)

 

Affiliation (nominated by Airbus Group)

Dr. Tabea ARNDT

Siemens, Corporate Technology

Guillaume Cherouvrier

Zodiac Aerospace

Markus CHRISTMANN

Airbus Group Innovations

François Hervé FALEMPIN

MBDA France

Dr. Florence FUSALBA

CEA

Mark HUSBAND

Rolls Royce

Dr. Peter JÄNKER

Airbus Group

Dr. Thomas Kuhn

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt

Dr. Dmitry MELYUKOV

Airbus Group Innovations, Russia

Michael PILAWA

Airbus Group

Daniel QUINGER

Lion Smart

Peter ROSTEK

Airbus

Jürgen STEINWANDEL

Airbus Group

Organisers (Euro-CASE)

 

Dr. Wolf Gehrisch

NATF, International Activities

Dr. Jacques Lukasik

NATF Fellow, Secretary General of Euro-CASE

Organisers (Airbus Group)

 

Johannes STUHLBERGER

Head Global Innovation Network,  Airbus Group

Dr. Detlef MÜLLER-WIESNER

HO E-Aircraft Programme Directorate, Airbus Group