The manufacturers of aircraft engines are confronted with a very competitive market environment. In consequence, huge efforts and innovative products are necessary to maintain the market position. The development of innovative products contributes to establish Germany in a high technology position.
Caused by the finiteness and shortage of oil and possible effects on the price, a reduction in fuel consumption becomes more important. One element to achieve this goal is weight reduction.
It is the objective to develop innovative technologies to construct a new generation of competitive low-pressure turbines. The low-pressure turbines have to fulfil higher requirements regarding altitude, noise reduction and bypass concepts. At the same time, it is the aim to improve efficiency and obtain weight reduction.
In detail, it was the objective to
- Improve turbine efficiency about 1%
- Reduce turbine weight about 5% thanks to innovative lightweight constructions
- Develop an integrated Low Spool NDT-generator (low-pressure turbine) to obtain 5% weight reduction.
- Reduce turbine weight about 5% thanks to optimized turbine blades.
The objectives of the ME2 Turbine project are in line with the objectives of the EU strategy “ACARE” (Advisory council for Aeronautics Research in Europe).
The project is based on previous findings from the projects “Niederdruckturbine II” and “NextGen-T”. This underlines how important it is to develop technologies continuously.
To achieve further improvements in this already highly developed technology, the ME2 Turbine project focused on two approaches: The improvement of small details in the turbine design, and innovative changes regarding the overall concept.
Therefore, the project was divided into 4 different work packages:
- WP1: Lightweight structures
- WP2: 4th generation of an efficient turbine
- WP3: integrated low-pressure generator / electronics for a Smart Fuel System
- WP4: Test and validate new low-pressure turbines
According to the different work packages, the following results have been achieved:
- WP1- Lightweight structures: applied e.g. for the casing. Combined with an innovative design principle, this led to a significant weight reduction.
- WP2- 4th generation of an efficient turbine: Within this work package, improvements concerning the blade structure have been achieved. This led to a more efficient cooling and increased overall fuel efficiency.
- WP3- integrated low-pressure generator / electronics for a Smart Fuel System: It was not possible to integrate the low-pressure generator. Hence the team focused on the electronics for application in a Smart Fuel System.
- WP4- Test and validate new low-pressure turbines: The turbines were tested under realistic conditions. It was the aim to proof reliability and lifespan of TiAl-blades.
Findings of the study are published by a final report (German only), which is available online via the Technical Information Library (TIB) of the Hannover University: http://edok01.tib.uni-hannover.de/edoks/e01fb12/727112082.pdf