Aerospace

Innovations Drive Weight and Emission Reductions for Aircraft Engines

Innovations Drive Weight and Emission Reductions for Aircraft Engines - Airplane - Parker AerospaceEngine makers face ongoing challenges in the areas of noise, fuel burn, and emissions. That’s why Parker Aerospace’s recent innovations in the areas of lubrication, combustion, and thermal management are so important. From the first-time use of composite materials for engine lubrication reservoirs to new low-profile thermal management equipment, these recent technology innovations enhance performance, lower weight, and minimize emissions. It’s the kind of blue-sky thinking that can advance the green technology solutions needed by the entire aviation engine market: commercial, regional, business, military, and rotor.

Here’s more detail on our new engine technologies – and reimagined existing ones – that, when applied, will help launch greener aircraft engines.

 

Lubrication innovations

Parker Aerospace is the first in the industry to offer composite lubrication reservoirs. These can be as much as 40 percent lighter compared to traditional reservoirs.

Additionally, we’re building on our proven demisting technology to reduce the release of oil vapor emissions. Originally developed by Parker’s Racor Division for industrial applications, the reimagined technology is now being used to separate oil droplets from vented air from the lubrication system. The separated oil is then returned to the lubrication system rather than being released into the atmosphere.

“At Parker Aerospace, we know that the first step in emissions reduction is weight reduction. When an airplane has less mass to move, it burns less fuel and creates fewer emissions. That’s where the use of lighter materials comes in, and why we are using composites in applications like our oil reservoirs. To meet other challenges, we often look first to Parker’s existing technology solutions, applying them to solve new customer problems. That was our approach in utilizing Parker’s proven demisting technology to reduce the release of oil vapor emissions.”

— Rick Mossey, business development manager, Parker Aerospace, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division

The ability to optimize the entire lubrication system under actual operating conditions is another engine lubrication innovation recently developed by Parker Aerospace. Our lubrication system test rig allows us to profile the entire lubrication system, building it to precisely meet customer performance requirements at the lightest possible weight.

 

Innovations Drive Weight and Emission Reductions for Aircraft Engines - Parker Ecology Tank - Parker AerospaceFuel combustion advances

The engine combustor has recently been an area of focus for Parker Aerospace engineers and a number of innovations for this area have evolved. Key among them is the ecology tank. An original Parker concept, the ecology tank is installed below the engine combustor. It serves as a reservoir where unburned fuel collects for return to the main fuel tanks following engine shutdown. Ordinarily, unburned fuel can collect in the fuel nozzles, causing a buildup of deposits called coking, which impacts the nozzle’s ability to atomize fuel. When the unburned fuel is rerouted to the ecology tank, coking is avoided and fuel nozzles can then perform at peak efficiency. This creates a cleaner fuel burn, resulting in reduced emissions. Another benefit of the ecology tank is the avoidance of any overboard fuel escaping into the environment. 

Innovations Drive Weight and Emission Reductions for Aircraft Engines - Marcrospray Single Point Nozzle - Parker AerospaceFuel nozzle design is another way Parker engineers are reducing engine emissions. We’re using additive manufacturing – and working closely with customers – to develop lighter weight, more advanced fuel nozzles that use an improved fuel/air mixture with more consistently sized fuel droplets. By controlling these nozzle variables, we can continue to help our customers meet ever-more-stringent CO, CO2, and NOx emission standards. Plus, additive technology streamlines the manufacturing process, eliminating some traditional joining methods and further reducing environmental impact.

Surrounding the engine’s combustion section, fuel manifolds are often designed as a system of rigid tubing and fittings designed to deliver the fuel needed for power.  Now we’re replacing this rigid system with flexible, high-temperature fuel lines from Parker’s Stratoflex Products Division. The benefits are clear.

“Lightweight, flexible manifolds manage vibratory loads more efficiently, requiring fewer brackets; a secondary weight savings.”

— Rick Mossey, business development manager, Parker Aerospace, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division

 

New thermal management efficiencies

Typically, in hostile engine environments, heat exchangers are used for heat removal. Traditionally, heat exchangers have had taller profiles. Now, with our proprietary macrolamination technology, we’re able to produce low-profile heat exchangers. Smaller and lighter, these new heat exchangers can occupy any available space and still provide exceptional heat removal capacity.

“Engine thermal management systems built with our macrolamination technology can realize a 40 percent gain in thermal management efficiency while reducing system size and weight. Macrolamination allows us to design systems featuring micro-cooling channels with aspect ratios as high as 30:1. This capability enables us to build lower-profile units that create less disruption to bypass air flow within the engine.”

— Rick Mossey, business development manager, Parker Aerospace, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division

Parker is partnering with our engine customers to share risk and develop these new innovations that will help them drive weight and emission reductions for aircraft engines.

 

Innovations Drive Weight and Emission Reductions for Aircraft Engines - Rick Mossey, business development manager -  Parker AerospaceThis blog was contributed by Rick Mossey, business development manager, Parker Aerospace, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division

 

 

 

 

 

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