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Investigation of the Effects of Various Energy and Exergy-Based Figures of Merit on the Optimal Design of a High Performance Aircraft System

[+] Author Affiliations
Vijayamand Periannan, Michael R. von Spakovsky

Virigina Polytechnic Institute and State University

David Moorhouse

U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Paper No. IMECE2006-14186, pp. 337-347; 11 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advanced Energy Systems
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4764-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


This paper shows the advantages of applying exergy-based analysis and optimization methods to the synthesis/design and operation of aircraft systems. In particular, an Advanced Aircraft Fighter (AAF) with three subsystems: a Propulsion Subsystem (PS), an Environmental Control Subsystem (ECS), and an Airframe Subsystem - Aerodynamics (AFS-A) is used to illustrate these advantages. Thermodynamic (both energy and exergy based), aerodynamic, geometric, and physical models of the components comprising the subsystems are developed and their interactions defined. Off-design performance is considered as well and is used in the analysis and optimization of system synthesis/design and operation as the aircraft is flown over an entire mission. An exergy-based parametric study of the PS and its components is first presented in order to show the type of detailed information on internal system losses which an exergy analysis can provide and an energy analysis by its very nature is unable to provide. This is followed by a series of constrained, system synthesis/design optimizations based on five different objective functions, which define energy-based and exergy-based measures of performance. The former involve minimizing the gross takeoff weight or maximizing the thrust efficiency while the latter involve minimizing the rates of exergy destruction plus the rate of exergy fuel loss (with and without AFS-A losses) or maximizing the thermodynamic effectiveness. A first set of optimizations involving four of the objecttives (two energy-based and two exergy-based) are performed with only PS and ECS degrees of freedom. Losses for the AFS-A are not incorporated into the two exergy-based objectives. The results show that as expected all four objectives globally produce the same optimum vehicle. A second set of optimizations is then performed with AFS-A degrees of freedom and again with two energy- and exergy-based objectives. However, this time one of the exergy-based objectives incorporates AFS-A losses directly into the objective. The results are that with this latter objective, a significantly better optimum vehicle is produced. Thus, an exergy-based approach is not only able to pinpoint where the greatest inefficiencies in the system occur but appears at least in this case to produce a superior optimum vehicle as well by accounting for irreversibility losses in subsystems (e.g., the AFS-A) only indirectly tied to fuel usage.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Exergy , Design , Aircraft



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