October 27, 2016

Superconducting ring generators are core technology enabling a planned mach 5 Hypersonic commercial business jet

There are several patents around the superconducting turbo electric bypass machine that will enable more powerful engines to drive a mach 5 hypersonic commercial business jet.

HyperMach new design has a top speed of Mach 5 at 80,000 feet and 7,000-nm range. They are busy developing and testing the critical technology built into the SSBJ’s 76,000-pound-thrust H-Magjet 5500-X hybrid turbofan ramjet engines. Lugg said the company holds “major patents” for its “revolutionary propulsion technology,” which includes a superconducting turbo power core ring to generate the aircraft’s high electrical power requirements.

The most powerful current fighter jet engines produce about 43,000 pounds of thrust

“The first engine stage produces more than 10 megawatts of power, driving the electromagnetic compressor and bypass fans,” he noted. “There are five turbine stages in H-Magjet, all producing multi-megawatts of power.”

Supersonic-Magnetic Advanced Generation Jet Electric Turbine (S-MAGJET), the majority of electric power produced off the power turbine via the superconducting ring generators is directed forward through a proprietary electric power management system to run the electric bypass fans and the electric compressor. This electrical independence of the bypass fan from the multi-stage axial compressor raises overall efficiency of the engine by 70% alone.

Switched reluctance, fully superconducting, integrated ring turbine motor, generator gas turbine, engine stage (ssrgts)

A superconducting integrated ring turbine motor generator gas turbine engine stage of the present invention includes a combination of turbine vanes, rotors and blisk assemblies that prevent temperatures during operation from interfering with the extraction or control of power generation processes. The engine stage includes a ring having an evenly spaced array of aerodynamic vanes affixed on the inside or outside of the ring. The vanes are spaced apart by a nonmagnetic armature assembly spacer ring.

Fully advanced superconducting segmented turbo-electric rotormachine (fasster) (US Patent)

Disclosed is a high-power, fully-superconducting electric machine and major subcomponents including a dual (twin) superconducting, counter rotating, sub-scale bypass fan machine, 13-stage switched reluctance turbo-motor, electric compressor, annular ion-plasma combustor with electromagnetic electrodes, and a five stage superconducting counter-rotating turbine power generation machine which is capable of developing 2.5 MW per stage.

Hypersonic aircraft

A supersonic aircraft having unique structural, geometrical, electromagnetic, mechanical, thermal and aerodynamic configuration is described. Its design characteristics maximize aerodynamic performance, speed, efficiency, comfort and range in the operational affect of carrying passengers over long distances at very high flight speeds and Mach numbers, generally above Mach 4.0+. It has fully integrated-mated fuselage twin engine nacelle structures which reduce and stabilize wave drag, wherein engines sit forward of the sonic boom electrode swept aerospace but are integrated right through the sub-wing, the aero-spike and inlet just above the top surface of the central wing, and above and the major wing mating join, attached via a massive composite titanium keel structure, through the central wing box and fuselage.

Hypersonic advanced generation jet electric turbine

The examples provided herein, including any summary of above summary of example aspects, serves to provide a basic understanding of the present disclosure. Such summary is not an extensive overview of all contemplated aspects, and is intended to neither identify key or critical elements of all aspects nor delineate the scope of any or all aspects of the present disclosure. Its sole purpose is to present one or more aspects in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description of the disclosure that follows. To the accomplishment of the foregoing the one or more aspects of the present disclosure include the features described and example pointed out in the claims. A system, method, and methods of assembly and manufacturing a hypersonic jet electric turbine is provided.

Details of Patents

SonicBlue's conceptual design for its superconducting ring motor positions two concentric rings: (i) the inner ring, which will constitute the rotating component (the rotor) and, when in motion, will be maintained in plane with the outer ring by magnetic levitation; and {11} the outer ring (the stator), which will be stationary. Both rings will be made from advanced materials, primarily lightweight metal alloys, titanium and carbon nano-tube reinforced composite. The inner ring body will consist of fan blades and/or compressor blades as a perimeter ring structure. The fan blades or compressor blades will be attached at the inner fan ring and the tips will be attached to the perimeter ring. The fan blades and compressor blades at the perimeter ring structure will incorporate passive thermal cooling passages that will lead to a cooling medium reservoir in the hub. The circumference of the inner ring (the rotor) will contain several sets of superconducting induction coils (two separate sets of coils for levitation and one set for propulsion) and passive thermal cooling passages surrounding the induction coils. The outer ring (the stator) will hold the motor's cryogenically cooled, high-power, superconducting electromagnets, and will also hold the levitating and positioning Halbach Arrays (consisting of neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets).

A cryogenic cooling system will provide coolant to the superconducting electromagnets in the outer ring; and the outer ring will be surrounded by a highly efficient insulating material, such as a silicon carbide aerogel composite. The outer ring will also have contact strips coated with a polymer that has a low coefficient of friction to provide rotor support during startup; to constrain out-of-plane, in-plane and shear loads outside of the design criteria; and to ameliorate the effects of contact between the rings due to operational anomalies such as foreign object damage. In addition, the contact strips will be part of a mechanism that will hold the fan or compressors in place during storage and at other times when the fan is not intended to be rotating.

This non-superconducting ring motor architecture in the rotor has been selected as an alternative design approach being proposed because of the technical challenges of providing cryogenic cooling to the rotating inner rings whereby the bypass fan(s) and/or compressor blades attach In the exo- skeleton FASSTER engine architecture. Superconductors are used in the stator which are induced by an electrical current from the three STRGs in the turbine to power these fan and compressor stages through induction. The ring motor design is a high speed, switched reluctance permanent magnet ring motor that according to past engineering and FEA analysis provides very high power densities, very close in performance in terms of power density at the 15,000 RPM selected by SonicBlue in the segments electric compressor and is very close to being competitive with the superconducting STRG technology under development SonicBlue. There are permanent magnet architectures perpendicular to the permanent magnet drive or propulsive PM arrays which make up the magnetic levitation architecture in the fan and compressor section. This architecture is propulsed by superconducting electromagnets in the stator housed in the exo-skeleton

Current technology in ring motor designs can only create shear pressures in the range of 4.1 Ibs./sq. in. The SonicBlue design concept, which uses superconducting electromagnets and computer-controlled pole activation, will be designed to develop shear pressures at the interface of the stator ring and the rotor ring in the range of 16.0 to 20.0 Ibs./sq. in., as much as four and a half times greater than the forces that are currently achieved in the traditional ring motor designs. Those increased shear pressures will enable the SonicBlue design to achieve significant power Gains and meet torque loadings equal to mechanically non-segmented designs.

SonicBlue's magnetic levitation system for supporting and positioning the rotor within the plane of the stator is based on the Indutrack maglev train technology developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the 1990s. The Indutrack technology is completely passive, relying only on the forward motion of the train to achieve magnetic levitation. Although the Indutrack technology is heavy and bulky in application and does not need to take into account any issues of cooling (because the magnetic coils of the track are only active when the train is over them, cooling is not an issue), it is simple in design, robust in other applications, has no moving parts or control system, provides maximum levitating force at low speeds and appears readily adaptable to the SonicBlue MAGJET turbine application. The SonicBlue design uses two rows of neodymiun-iron-boron permanent magnets arranged in parallel Halbach Arrays around each inner edge of a channel in the stater's outer ring; and opposing and corresponding arrays of small induction coils located in each of the outer edges of the circumference of the rotor (separate from the induction drive coils) inside the outer perimeter of the stator channel.

SonicBlue has chosen to use 3G superconducting ribbon to create the magnetic field in the outer ring of the motor that will drive the rotation of the inner ring. Although the use of superconducting ribbon creates issues of thermal management (see the Thermal Management discussion below) and adds weight (e.g., coolant storage tank, compressor, pumps and valves), it enables the SonicBlue design to generate an extremely high electromagnetic field at the outer ring, thus generating 4 to 5 times the rotational torque of a conventional ring motor. The

SonicBlue design concept calls for an array of coils of superconducting ribbon in the outer ring, with the coil cores being parallel to the axis of rotation of the rotor. The geometry of the coils, pole count and flux density will be determined so as to reach the power density and horsepower specified as design points for the 44" diameter superconducting ring motor application at 2.5 MW. The superconducting ring motor will drive the bypass fans and the compressors. This is baseline for the first electric turbo compressor stage. Smaller electric machines are devised reducing in size for the next eight electric compressor stages. The electric machine architecture is up to 87" for the first of two counter rotating bypass fan stages, each at 9.4 MW. Total turbo electric power is 27.0 MW, putting the final engine design In Λ/+3 at approximately 31,000 lb. thrust class

The main advantage of magnetic coils over permanent magnets in an aerospace application of a superconducting ring motor or ring generator is that magnetic coils do not have an intrinsic limit to the amount of power that can be produced, i.e., the amount of power being produced by the coils is directly related to the amount of current the coil can handle from a generation source. The amount of magnet flux that can be produced by a permanent magnet, however, is limited by the inherent magnetic characteristics of the magnetic material used in the magnet and its physical size. Copper coils could be utilized instead of permanent magnets or superconducting coils, but copper coils cannot support the energy density requirements for high horsepower ring motor and ring generation ratings without substantial loss of efficiency, and produce power levels ultimately in the 40+ megawatt class. Superconducting wire coils (made from advanced materials such as yitritium/noblum) will add design complexity, bulk and weight; but such materials, because they enable the coils to generate much greater power densities and therefore greater horsepower, will produce higher thrust to weight ratios than alternative technologies and thus counter the otherwise adverse impacts on the design (such as weight penalty for cryocoolers to keep superconducting electromagnets within cryogenic operating conditions) that arise from their use.

Over the past 10-20 years research has focused on increasing jet engine performance while reducing engine weight and reducing the costs associated with engine production and maintenance. In particular, government and military funded programs have focused on using ceramic components for the hot section of gas turbine engines to allow for higher turbine inlet temperatures and, therefore, higher thermal efficiencies. In addition, research is focusing on a truly integrated engine and airframe propulsion system in which the engine casing becomes a part of the airframe. This would allow for a dramatic weight reduction in overall weight and an increase in engine performance. However, these development programs have focused on 70 year old gas turbine technology.

In addition, the DOD and Armed Services are now demanding significant increases in electric output from turbine flight engines. For example, there are now requirements for the generation of up to 2-5 megawatts of electrical power that is needed to power on-board directed energy weapons and all electric aircraft subsystems. Currently, US Air Force requirements for future unmanned and manned systems are demanding propulsion capabilities which can sustain supersonic speeds as in Mach 1.5-3.5 across a complete flight regime, lift-off to landing, and deliver high power energy weapons with all electric sub-systems for aircraft function. Future aircraft concepts are demanding in excess of 1.0 megawatt of power which current turbine engine companies cannot deliver off of their present engine designs, largely because they are restricted by the reduction performance of gear boxes, drive shafts and the generator added on as an additional component which is not made by the OEM engine supplier.

In traditional gas turbine engines, the combustor/propulsor, dynamic components are designed to be in tension with heavy axial drive shafts (or spools), and gear boxes. These systems are quite heavy and typically limit the thrust to weight ratios to not more than 7 to 1.

Accordingly, a need exists for an engine design that is able to provide very high thrust to weight ratios, has optimized aerodynamic flight conditions across the entire flight envelope and can generate substantial surplus electrical power output.

The patent is a high-powered, flight-weight fully Superconducting Electric Machine comprising a dual, counter-rotating superconducting rim driven electric machine and bypass fan(s), a fully segmented 13 stage electric compressor driven by DC switched reluctance turbo-motors, and a 5-stage variable high and low speed power generation turbine utilizing embedded superconductors on the rotor and stator. The apparatus uses electric current in superconducting coils in the rotor and stator to induce electric current in a magnetically levitated rotor with the capability of generating up to 4-5 times the electric power of conventional ring motor architectures.

According to one aspect of the disclosure, a superconducting generator turbine apparatus comprises: a plurality of counter rotating bypass fans, an electric compressor, an annular ion-plasma combustor with electromagnetic electrodes, and a multi-stage superconducting counter-rotating turbine power generator capable of developing at least 2.0 MW per stage.

According to a second aspect of the disclosure, a superconducting generator turbine apparatus comprises: (A) a generally cylindrical frame; (B) a plurality of counter rotating bypass fans, (C) a turbine disposed within the cylindrical frame and configured to generate electrical power, the turbine comprising: i) at least one arcuate blade array movably coupled relative to the interior surface of the cylindrical frame, ii) a plurality of induction coils disposed about a perimeter of the cylindrical frame; and (D) a combustor configured to generate plasma exhaust comprising ionized molecules of a first polarity; wherein a bypass air flow tunnel is disposed at a the center of the exoskeleton and extends from the plurality of counter rotating bypass fans through the electric compressor section, ion plasma combustor, superconducting power turbine, and through an exhaust nozzle, and wherein a thrust created by the turbine apparatus has a greater component of bypass air then combustion exhaust.

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