<Multi-Physical Co-Design of Next Generation Axial Motors for Aerospace Applications – ARPA-E
Senior Personnel: H. Toliyat (PI), D. Antao (Co-PI), M. Benedict (Co-PI), P. Enjeti (Co-PI), J. Felts (Co-PI), M. Gardner (Co-PI), J. Grunlan (Co-PI), B. Rasmussen (Co-PI), P. Shamberger (Co-PI)
With this effort, we join a team of researchers focused on the design, fabrication and testing of a lightweight and ultra-efficient electric powertrain for aircraft propulsion to reduce the energy costs and emissions of aviation. The team’s technology will reach unprecedented peak power density and efficiency via (1) an axial flux motor with lightweight carbon fiber reinforced structural material, (2) a GaN multilevel inverter, (3) a thermally conductive nanocomposite electrical insulation and (4) a two-phase thermal management system with zeolite thermal energy storage to absorb the excess heat generated during takeoff. Each subsystem is designed for tight integration with the other subsystems to minimize weight.
Within this overall effort, we focus on designing zeolite thermal energy storage media to balance energy density and instantaneous cooling power demands through innovative use of hydrophilic binders and microscale thermally conductive support structures.
To accelerate the transition towards greener energy this effort is focused on synergistic design, fabrication, and testing of lightweight and ultra-efficient (>95%) electric powertrain for aircraft propulsion. PHATE lab is developing a novel adsorption-based cooling system for this powertrain. We are particularly interested in developing zeolite-based composite TES to achieve this. In addition, we are developing computational tools to validate our experiments and to continually improve the design and manufacturing of TES. In this ongoing, effort we have demonstrated an energy density of greater than 1KJ/g of TES material.