Advanced Superconducting Motor Experimental Demonstrator


ASuMED is building the first fully superconducting motor prototype achieving the power densities and efficiencies needed for hybrid-electric distributed propulsion (HEDP) of future large civil aircraft. HEDP offers a route to achieve the reductions in fuel burn and emission targeted by Flightpath 2050, namely a reduction in CO2 by 75%, NOx and particulates by 90% and noise by 65% compared to 2000.

The ASuMED prototype will outperform state-of-the-art e-motors with normal conductive technologies. The project work focuses on the development of an innovative motor topology, a superconducting stator and rotor, a magnetization system as well as a light and highly efficient cryostat for the motor. In addition, novel numerical modelling methods and a new airborne cryogenic cooling system design are investigated. Further, a highly dynamic, fail-safe and robust control of superconducting machines is realized by a modular inverter topology. Final tests evaluate the technology´s benefits and allow its integration into designs for future aircraft.

Electrical Engineering; Computational Physics
Vedecká časť: 

The goal of the project is to construct a superconducting motor demonstrator of 1 MW power and very high power density (20 kW/kg). The design and optimization of the motor requires computer modeling methods, especially regarding the energy loss in the superconducting parts due to alternating currents (AC). These AC create non-linear eddy currents in the superconductors. The non-linearity requires fast advanced numerical models, which outperform conventional Finite Element Methods, such as the Minimum Electromagnetic Entropy Production, developed in the Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEE), Slovak Academy of Sciences [ ;]. The AC energy loss is essential for the motor design. This loss not only limits the efficiency but also produces heat in the superconducting part, which will be cooled down below 50 K (-223 Centigrades). Then, the cooling system (cryogenic system) needs to be carefully designed in order to handle this heat source. The role of IEE in the project is to develop novel numerical methods and apply them to the design of the superconducting motor.

Socioekonomický a technologický dopad: 

Air traffic is projected to grow worldwide by 5% each year in the near future. Thus, the ACARE Flightpath 2050 emission targets seek reductions in CO2 by 75%, NOx and particulates by 90%, and noise by 65% compared to the year 2000 status. Continued incremental improvements of the conventional ‘tube and wing’ aircraft configuration will not be sufficient to meet these targets. Distributed Propulsion (DP) is a breakthrough system-level approach, offering significant benefits for fuel efficiency, which relate directly to reduce emissions. Further, DP opens the aircraft design space and will allow the positioning and design of aircraft propulsive systems to minimise noise impact on the ground. Electrical power transmission from gas-turbine powered generators, fuel cells or batteries will offer the most flexible solution and allow the full potential of DP to be exploited.

Main objective of ASuMED is to develop a fully superconducting motor prototype with the power densities and efficiency needed for hybrid-electric distributed propulsion (HEDP) of future large civil aircrafts, as an enabler to achieve the targets of Flightpath 2050, mentioned above.

Main economic and societal impacts of the project::
- As an essential enabler for DP based aircrafts, the application of the ASuMED developments will lead to a substantial decrease of the environmental impact of air vehicles, i.e. potential reductions of noise by 71db, NOx by 75% and fuel burn by 70% (compared to the year 2000 base case).
- The competitiveness of the European aviation industry will be strengthened by new market opportunities. In particular, electric DP can be considered as a disruptive technology, which has the potential to completely change existing industrial value chains by displacing established market leaders. Thus, an early leadership of European companies is necessary to develop new products, services and solutions resulting in a massive economic growth in the European aviation industry.
- Highest efficiency of the new systems reduces fuel consumption and may enable longer flight ranges or different mission profiles for the aircraft operators.
- The project’s results can be applied in further markets, e.g. wind turbines, transportation (rail and large scale shipping), new torque motors for industrial drives etc.

Technická časť: 

The modeling from the Institute of Electrical Engineering will be doen with our own software, programmed in C++ and compiled by the gnu compiler g++.
We developed two programs, each uses:
- Two-dimensional electromagnetic model: openMP, 1-node jobs, 75 Gb RAM per node or more.
- Three-dimensional electromagnetic model: openMP + boostMPI: up to 6 nodes per job, 30 Gb RAM per node (future calculations may require higher RAM).
The software is in constant development. We should be able to use more nodes in the future.
Usual computations last up to 2 days but some computations could take up to 20 days or more.
According to our experience with the cluster in the Institute of Informatics, the estimated total core-hours per year is around 550000.

Prepojenie s grantovými úlohami: 
Project Horizon 2020, Research and Innnovation Action (RIA). Project ID: 723119.
"AC loss in REBCO stator windings of superconducting motors for electric and hybrid aircrafts " E Pardo, F Grilli, T Reis, S Wolfstädter. Presented at the "European Conference on Applied Superconductivity (EUCAS 2017)", 17-21 September, Geneva, Switzerland.