Electric Aircraft for Engineering Senior Design Project

Discussion in 'Electric Propulsion' started by tgcastleman, Sep 25, 2019.

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

  1. Sep 26, 2019 #21

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,869
    Likes Received:
    1,849
    Location:
    North Carolina
    It shows RPM, torque and power consumption. From those, efficiency can be calculated. I paid no heed to the thrust, as I'm expecting the students to use different props.
     
  2. Sep 26, 2019 #22

    BBerson

    BBerson

    BBerson

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    12,062
    Likes Received:
    2,355
    Location:
    Port Townsend WA
    Looks like 78% efficiency at 100% power (if I calculated correctly converting Newton to foot pounds)
    I don't know if I would trust those chart numbers, I don't think the voltage stays a constant 60 volts. So I don't know how they test electric motors for efficiency. Surprised they don't list the efficiency on the chart.
     
  3. Sep 26, 2019 #23

    tgcastleman

    tgcastleman

    tgcastleman

    Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Thank you all for the responses and interest. I know this might be a little bit harder to read, but I'm going to respond by number.

    #5) Our assignment was to design "something that moves"... I took that and went with electric aircraft.
    #6) In short, research. To state the somewhat obvious, battery technology isn't really quite there yet to create commercially practical aircraft. So this will serve as a platform for research and data for when the battery technology is mature enough for aircraft.
    #8) We're essentially doing that. I would rather not say which design yet, but it will be somewhat obvious when the project progresses.
    #9) I apologize for my snippy retort. I am so used to receiving flak and non constructive negativity over this project that I suppose I may sometimes interpret sarcasm where this isn't any. Thank you for clarifying that. In short why electric and why not steam, I would say it is less complex and emissions free (not counting manufacturing the battery)... Mostly that first part. I've never made a steam system before, so I'm not going to kid myself in thinking that I could build a steam engine capable of powering an aircraft with my current skill level. If you're so interested in a steam aircraft, then I suggest you pursue one! One doesn't need an engineering education to design an aircraft. I would say you would need some books and basic math skills but it sounds like you're already on the right path. I'm sticking with electric. Calling it inside the box and another version of the wheel honestly made me laugh out loud. I know I'm not the only one working on this. I'm one of many and happy to be a part of it.
    #10) Yeah we don't even have an aerospace department here at Lamar. I'm in mechanical engineering. So it is unlikely this project will be finished. I would like to build it, but that's wishful thinking right now.
    #11) Yes it's a lot of work.
    #12) Could you recommend a better motor?
    #!4) LOL! And thank you!
    #15) I would want to avoid a forward swept wing, and I don't think I'm going with a canard (although I haven't ruled that out either).
    #17) Yes thank you.
    #18) I wasn't sure what you were trying to say.
    #19) No. I'm doing the work. Posting on the internet for opinions is hardly cheating a design project.
    #20) The short answer is research. It will have a very limited range, but the idea is that this will serve as a test bed for future aircraft that will perform better and more practically. I put the Davis DA-11 in the proposal as one of the design influences. I think I'm going to shoot for 1000' takeoff length, but that may be increased to up to 1800 (I believe I have easy access to a 2000' runway). A lot of "I think"s there.... lol
    #21 & #22) I haven't gotten that far in calculations yet and I have to be honest electrical power is not my personal strong point. Another team member is focusing on that.

    I appreciate the responses and enjoy the discussion!
     
    Aerowerx and BoKu like this.
  4. Sep 26, 2019 #24

    stanislavz

    stanislavz

    stanislavz

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Lt
    Absolutely yes for 4 x 10 kw, than one 40kw. More power into one brick shaped motor - and air cooling is not sufficient. And if building same 40kw motor as a thin pancake - it will be roughly 80 cm in diameter, with 25mm stator thick.. Thicker stator - more rpm / less cooling area = water cooling and way more expensive solutions.
     
    BoKu likes this.
  5. Sep 26, 2019 #25

    Aerowerx

    Aerowerx

    Aerowerx

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,999
    Likes Received:
    1,359
    Location:
    Marion, Ohio
    No.

    Actual help yes, but "market research" and "prior arts" are an essential part of any project like that. And there is nothing wrong with asking for opinions and advice so long as the students do the actual work themselves. Many times such senior class projects are nothing more than collecting information from various sources, organizing them, and proposing a course of action for further work.

    If you do get outside assistance, then it should be acknowledged in the written report on the project.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    BoKu and PiperCruisin like this.
  6. Sep 26, 2019 #26

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Location:
    USA.

    #9 --- So you had the freedom to go in a lot of different ways. Have to agree, electric is far less complex, but don't let a complex and unknown subject stop you from learning. Isn't that what this is all about.
    When my youngest son was doing his Senior Design Project,( 1989), he designed and built a GPS type of Navigational system that used the earths magnetic field to replace the GPS transmitters in satellites . Designed and built the computer and all the electronics from scratch. ( I had the job of designing all the PC boards). Worked great except for the various iron ore deposits on the earth but that error could have been programed in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    BoKu likes this.
  7. Sep 26, 2019 #27

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,869
    Likes Received:
    1,849
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I got 70 something for full power. At part power, mid 80s. I converted rpm to rad/s to get shaft power in watts. They probably don't list it as it isn't particularly good.
     
  8. Sep 26, 2019 #28

    RonL

    RonL

    RonL

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Texas
    Making steam using electricity, might be the cleanest and simplest thing you could do.
     
  9. Sep 26, 2019 #29

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Location:
    USA.
    Electricity is not clean just a little cleaner. How are you going to make the electricity in the aircraft ? Aren't we back to batteries again ?
     
  10. Sep 26, 2019 #30

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,869
    Likes Received:
    1,849
    Location:
    North Carolina
    About 20 years ago, I drove past a power station belching huge amounts of black smoke. I have never seen anything like it. That was in Nevada, where they don't care about air quality. Every single Watt went to California, who exports their pollution while claiming to be 'green'...
     
    Aerowerx likes this.
  11. Sep 26, 2019 #31

    Hephaestus

    Hephaestus

    Hephaestus

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,180
    Likes Received:
    258
    Location:
    YMM
    Are they seriously running old school coal power generation anywhere?

    We've been decades on 'clean' coal up here. (The greenies don't differentiate) the big uproar a few years back, when the nutty communists decided to outlaw coal - funny some are less carbon intensive than the natural gas they're being replaced by, without the billion $ conversion costs.
     
  12. Sep 26, 2019 #32

    Richard Schubert

    Richard Schubert

    Richard Schubert

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Fair enough.

    Did you read this part?

    At any rate, I wish him good luck. The best engineering job in the world may very well be one that allows you to design cool stuff that will never actually see the test of actual practical use.
     
  13. Sep 26, 2019 #33

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Location:
    USA.
    A lot of my work in the 1970's was installing the air pollution equipment in the coal powered generation plants in the eastern U.S.
     
  14. Sep 26, 2019 #34

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,869
    Likes Received:
    1,849
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I don't know if they still are. But they certainly were in Nevada in the 90s. Plants like that were all closed in Europe a very long time ago. 60s or 70s, I think. the fact that the Nevada one was powering a state that had also long since banned such plants was particularly poignant. it was right on the border...
     
  15. Sep 26, 2019 #35

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Location:
    USA.
    About 9 large coal fired power plants on the Ohio river and one on the Kanawha river. If they went off line, DC would probably be dark. WV major exporter of grid power to the NE. I worked building and maintained almost all of them.
    The greenies in the NE must think the power magically appears out of the wall socket.
    I have lived without electric, a lot of people don't have a clue what it would be like.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  16. Sep 26, 2019 #36

    RonL

    RonL

    RonL

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Texas
    I base my thoughts on the facts that drag on a plane increases at a square factor, while the energy in a mass airflow increases by a cube factor (hence my comments about a tornado tube in the recent past).
    Steam for a plane makes sense to me in one way because on many occasions I have watched planes land and on the approach, the wingtips generate vortexes that produce moisture condensation that trails 100's if not 1000's of gallons of water separated from the atmosphere.
    With proper engineering wind-generated electricity and a collection of water from the sky might just negate a lot of battery capacity.
     
  17. Sep 27, 2019 #37

    BJC

    BJC

    BJC

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,561
    Likes Received:
    6,331
    Location:
    97FL, Florida, USA
    I don’t follow you there. Can you explain what you mean?

    Thanks,


    BJC
     
  18. Sep 27, 2019 #38

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    pictsidhe

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    6,869
    Likes Received:
    1,849
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ron. How strong are you? Can you lift your own body weight?
    You can? Great!. Skip the plane, you don't need it! Get a couple of straps, put one under each foot, and lift. Flight! This will work exactly the same way as your complex wind generated electric driven aircaft. Except that you don't need the aircraft!
     
  19. Sep 27, 2019 #39

    Pops

    Pops

    Pops

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    7,142
    Likes Received:
    6,031
    Location:
    USA.
    Water is not the problem using a condenser to recycle the water with a little lost. The energy to make the steam is the problem with weight and volume. Lots of low rpm torque to swing a long prop.

    Ultimate green aircraft, Put a sail on it like a sail boat :) How many mast ?
     
  20. Sep 27, 2019 #40

    Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    4,860
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    A nationwide blackout for a couple of days would be highly educational for a lot of those people. A month or two without oil and natural gas would further enlighten them. The average journalist would learn a bunch of true stuff for a change.
     
    pictsidhe and Pops like this.

Share This Page



arrow_white