Gas Turbines: Coal, Biomass, and Alternative Fuels

Assessing Alternative Fuels for Helicopter Operation

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Alexiou, N. Aretakis

A. Tsalavoutas

 Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines, National Technical University of Athens, 15773, Athens, Greecettsal@ltt.ntua.gr

B. Pons

Pre-Design Team  TURBOMECA 65411, Bordes Cedex France e-mail: Bernard.Pons@turbomeca.fr

I. Roumeliotis1

K. Mathioudakis

 Laboratory of Thermal Turbomachines, National Technical University of Athens, 15773, Athens, Greecekmathiou@central.ntua.gr


Also a Lecturer at the Hellenic Naval Academy, Piraeus, Greece.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 134(11), 111401 (Sep 28, 2012) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007169 History: Received June 25, 2012; Revised July 03, 2012; Published September 28, 2012; Online September 28, 2012

At present, nearly 100% of aviation fuel is derived from petroleum using conventional and well known refining technology. However, the fluctuations of the fuel price and the vulnerability of crude oil sources have increased the interest of the aviation industry in alternate energy sources. The motivation of this interest is actually twofold: firstly, alternative fuels will help to stabilize price fluctuations by relieving the worldwide demand for conventional fuel. Secondly, alternative fuels could provide environmental benefits including a substantial reduction of emitted CO2 over the fuel life cycle. Thus, the ideal alternative fuel will fulfill both requirements: relieve the demand for fuels derived from crude oil and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. In the present paper, the effects of various alternative fuels on the operation of a medium transport/utility helicopter are investigated using performance models of the helicopter and its associated turboshaft engine. These models are developed in an object-oriented simulation environment that allows a direct mechanical connection to be established between them in order to create an integrated model. Considering the case of a typical mission for the specific helicopter/engine combination, a comparative evaluation of conventional and alternative fuels is then carried out and performance results are presented at both engine and helicopter levels.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Fuels , Engines
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Figure 1

Module information exchange diagram

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Figure 2

Turboshaft engine PROOSIS schematic diagram

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Figure 3

PROOSIS schematic diagram of integrated model

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Figure 4

Variation of shaft power delivered with ambient temperature and altitude for maximum continuous power rating

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Figure 5

Engine fuel flow characteristic

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Figure 6

Engine specific fuel consumption at SL/STD

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Figure 7

Helicopter power required at various altitudes (MTOW/STD)

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Figure 8

Helicopter max rate of climb at 0 and 2000 m and max altitude/ceiling (MTOW)

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Figure 9

Helicopter specific range at MTOW and SL/STD

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Figure 10

Helicopter payload-range diagram

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Figure 11

Effect of alternative fuels on engine fuel consumption

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Figure 12

Effect of alternative fuels on turbine entry temperature

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Figure 13

Helicopter weight variation with time during mission for different fuels (full tanks – fixed payload)

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Figure 14

Effect of alternative fuels on mission fuel

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Figure 15

Specific range-helicopter weight variation for all fuels

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Figure 16

Effect of alternative fuels on helicopter payload-range characteristics




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