At the Paris Air Show Le Bourget show 2011 Siemens, Diamond Aircraft and EADS with the world's first airplane serial hybrid electric drive. The aircraft was built by the three partners as a test vehicle for a hybrid electric drive system. In order to continue in comparison to the currently most efficient technologies 25% can be saved on fuel and emissions. Siemens supplied the driveline from the motor, inverter and control electronics, and applies to her drive and engineering know-how in the industrial sector.
Around 2,2% of global CO2-Equipment accounts for the air traffic. Airplanes therefore have to become more efficient. One possibility is the electrification of the drive, as investigated by Siemens together with its partners in the motor glider "DA36 EStar". The motor glider based on a "HK36 Super Dimona" by Diamond Aircraft is unique in the world. For the first time, the aircraft has been using a series-hybrid electric drive as a drive train, which has previously been used in motor vehicles, for example: An 70 kW-strong electric motor drives the propeller. Electricity is supplied by a small internal combustion engine with generator, which acts exclusively as a generator. An inverter supplies the electric motor with energy from the battery and the generator. Since the combustion engine is always running smoothly and at low power of 30 kW, the fuel consumption is very low. During the take-off and climb phase, a battery system from EADS contributes to the higher power requirement, while cruising the battery is recharged.
Long range, low consumption
"The concept of the series-hybrid electric drive enables a quiet electric start and a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions," said Christian Dries, the owner of Diamond Aircraft. "At the same time, it allows for the long range expected of an aircraft." The electric drive is expected to save 25% of fuel and emissions compared to the most efficient technologies available today. The technology will initially be tested on small aircraft, in the long term, this drive will also be used in large aircraft.
The Siemens Drive Technologies Division supplied a permanent magnet-based low-voltage motor, a frequency converter and control technology. She applies her know-how gained in the implementation of the integrated electric powertrain in other areas, for example as the main propulsion for cruise liners. Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of the Siemens Drive Technologies Division: "With this example, we demonstrate our competence in the entire powertrain. We combine our extensive drive range with engineering and industry know-how and thus integrate the components perfectly into the customer application. This will allow us to provide our customers with the optimum powertrain, with which they can efficiently drive a ship and a hybrid bus or fly an airplane. "
Five times easier in the future
In the next development step, the integrated powertrain will be further optimized. Scientists are currently working on a new electric motor that will be five times lighter than conventional drives. In about two years, another aircraft type will be equipped with the ultra-light electric drive. The electric motor glider has its first flight on the 8. June 2011 successfully completed on the factory airfield Wiener Neustadt.