The Possibility of Using Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage/Battery Hybrid Energy Storage Systems Instead of Generators as Backup Power Sources for Electric Aircraft

Hamoud Alafnan, Xiaoze Pei, Moanis Khedr, Ibrahim Alsaleh, Abdullah Albaker, Mansoor Alturki, Diaa Eldin A. Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The annual growth rate of aircraft passengers is estimated to be 6.5%, and the CO2 emissions from current large-scale aviation transportation technology will continue to rise dramatically. Both NASA and ACARE have set goals to enhance efficiency and reduce the fuel burn, pollution, and noise levels of commercial aircraft. However, such radical improvements require radical solutions. With the current traditional aircraft designs based on gas turbines or piston engines, these goals are infeasible. Small-scale aircraft have successfully proven emission reductions using energy storage systems, such as Alice aircraft. This paper involves an investigation of the possibility of using superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES)/battery hybrid energy storage systems (HESSs) instead of generators as backup power sources to improve system efficiency and reduce emissions. Two different power system architectures of electric aircraft (EA) were compared in terms of reliability and stability in a one-generator failure scenario. As weight is crucial in EA designs, the weights of the two systems were compared, including the generators and energy storage systems. The two EA systems were built in Simulink/MATLAB to compare their reliability and stability. With the currently available technologies, based on the energy density of 250 Wh/kg for lithium-ion batteries and a power density of 8.8 kW/kg for generators, the use of the generators as backup sources proved more efficient than the use of HESS. The break-even point was observed at 750 Wh/kg for battery energy density. Any value more than the 750 Wh/kg energy density makes HESS lighter and more efficient than generators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1806
JournalSustainability
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been funded by the Scientific Research Deanship at the University of Ha’il—Saudi Arabia, through project number RG-21 087.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • electric aircraft (EA)
  • hybrid energy storage system (HESS)
  • superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES)
  • turboelectric distributed propulsion system (TeDP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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