The capability, safety, punctuality, economy and comfort of the air transportation system depend on the efficiency of equipment systems. Examples are functions like flight control, Air conditioning, power generation and supply, which are designed by the airplane manufacturer.
The design of the research project “ELFA” is in line with the political objectives for funding (“förderpolitische Ziele des Bundes”) in Germany: It contributes solutions for
- Environmentally friendly air transportation
- Safety and passenger comfort
- Optimized maintenance and repair
- Efficient airplanes
Further, the project matches with the EU strategy “ACARE 2020-SRA-2”.
The next generation of airplanes needs to be more fuel efficient, less polluting and more silent. Furthermore, the operating costs should be minimized thanks to a higher reliability, availability and reduced maintenance. The objectives of ELFA are as follows:
- Reduction of the global fuel consumption thanks to higher energy efficiency
- Innovative strategies for airplane energy supply
- Internal energy management with intelligent use of sources and consumers of energy
- Lower costs for acquisition and operating expense of airplane systems
- Reduction of noise and emissions in the airport area
- Less need for maintenance (diagnosis and forecast) and easier installation
- Increasing comfort in the cabin thanks to a lower noise level and new concepts in air conditioning
- Optimizing and standardizing of R&D
Developing a concept of an innovative, complex, electric architecture for airplane systems regarding power supply, power distribution, power consumption and control. Improvement of the hydraulic system thanks to implementation of electronic components. The possible loss of the Bleed air system allows a more flexible and efficient electronic network architecture. Fuel cells are analyzed as a possible power supply system irrespective of the aircraft engines. Furthermore, ELFA optimizes the main sources of energy consumption in the airplane.
The project is divided into 3 subprojects: “VELKESA”, “BREZEN” and “AKTUEL”. Further, each of the subproject is divided into several parts.
The ELFA project is in line with and builds on the research of previous projects of LuFo II/III “TIBS”, “HISYS”, “EOSYS”, “APAWAGS” and EU projects “POA” and “MOET”: Their results and experiences were implemented successfully and were extended.
The VELKESA subproject focused on air condition, Ice protection systems and components in the electrical climate system and controller.
The BREZEN subproject achieved some important experiences in the usage of hydrogen fuel cells as a sustainable energy supply system in airplanes.
The AKTUEL subproject focused on concepts for electrical actuators.
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: