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RANKINE CYCLE INTERCOOLER FOR COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199107D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-26
Document File: 5 page(s) / 27K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A technique to provide a means of generating electricity for on-board use on airliners is disclosed. The technique described herein proposes the anti ice systems on the leading edges of an aircraft’s wing be redesigned or retrofitted to carry a heating fluid other than air. The alternate fluid serves the purpose of providing power to the aircraft cabin by means of a Rankine cycle heat engine in addition to warming the wing surfaces.

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RP13479

BRIEF ABSTRACT

    A technique to provide a means of generating electricity for on-board use on airliners is disclosed. The technique described herein proposes the anti ice systems on the leading edges of an aircraft's wing be redesigned or retrofitted to carry a heating fluid other than air. The alternate fluid serves the purpose of providing power to the aircraft cabin by means of a Rankine cycle heat engine in addition to warming the wing surfaces.

KEYWORDS

    Rankine cycle, airliner, aircraft, electricity, Auxiliary Power Units (APU), engine, anti-ice, leading edges, turbine, efficiency

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

    In the past, large passenger aircraft demanded less electricity for avionics and passenger use. If passengers carried electronic devices, the devices were usually low-power equipment that could be run on batteries. However, as aircraft systems begin to demand more electrical power, and passengers increasingly carry power-intensive devices on board, conventional means of providing electricity are either inadequate or too harmful to the performance or reliability of an aircraft's main engines. Modern computer laptops are more power-intensive and typically have only two or three hours of battery life. Further the ubiquity of laptops at present requires that airlines provide more electricity to meet passengers' requirements during a long flight. Other power demands, such as

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RANKINE CYCLE INTERCOOLER FOR COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT

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RP13479

in-flight internet access and mobile telephone services are also frequently utilized.

    Some conventional means of providing on board electricity are by utilizing generators geared to the engine shafts or special dedicated turbines known as Auxiliary Power Units (APU). However, the problem with gearing a generator to the main engines is that the generator becomes one of the most unreliable components in the engine infrastructure, requiring the engine to be serviced more frequently. In addition, gearing generators to the rotating shaft of the engines creates a parasitic load and reduces the overall performance. Further, the effect of removing power from the engine shafts to run the generators is becoming noticeable as a hindrance to the flight performance of an aircraft. Additionally, APUs can only be run while the aircraft is parked or taxiing due to their incompatibility with the low-pressure environment at high altitude.

    Therefore there is a need in the art for providing sufficient on board electricity to compensate for the overstrained on-board electrical resources in commercial airliners.

    Accordingly, a technique for generating electricity for on-board use on the airliners is proposed. Existing anti-ice systems may be redesigned or retrofitted to carry a heating fluid other than the air. Such an alternate fluid serves the dual purpose of warming the wing surfaces and providing power to the aircraft cabin by means of a Rankine cycle heat engine. Rankine cycle works on the principle of...