Document Type : Original Article

Authors

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Imam Ali University, Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran.

10.22044/rera.2021.11173.1076

Abstract

The propulsion system of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) plays an essential role in its performance, stability and flight endurance. In this study, two types of propulsion systems for UAV (differentiated based on fuel type) are studied to determine their characteristics and advantages. These proposed propulsion systems are using a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) to generate the heat required for the operation of the turbine and generating thrust. To achieve the best operating condition, a multi-objective Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II) in MATLAB is used to decide key design parameters. For reaching the best conditions where the acceptable thrust is accompanied by reasonable flight duration, the TOPSIS decision-making method was considered. Results indicated that the efficiency and generated power of the propulsion system will increase by higher flight altitude or compressor pressure ratio. Also, due to the recirculation of fuel in the SOFC’s anode, the higher efficiency is observed in comparison when hydrogen is used; since anode-recirculation causes higher fuel utilization. The optimization result shows that the efficiency and fuel consumption for the hydrogen-fueled system is 48.7% and 0.0024g/s, respectively, and 67.9% and 0.0066kg/s for methane-fueled engine. It was also found that, maximum efficiency for both hydrogen- and methane-fueled systems are available with the stack temperature of 1025 K; however maximum thrust for these systems is at the stack temperature of 1075 K. In addition, increasing fuel rate of the SOFC power unit helps the process of generating extra power and thrust for UAVs.

Keywords

Main Subjects

[1] Marefati, M., M. Mehrpooya, and S.A. Mousavi, Introducing an integrated SOFC, linear Fresnel solar field, Stirling engine and steam turbine combined cooling, heating and power process. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2019.
[2] Peng, M.Y.-P. et al., Energy and exergy analysis of a new combined concentrating solar collector, solid oxide fuel cell, and steam turbine CCHP system. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 2020. 39: p. 100713.
[3] Buonomano, A. et al., Hybrid solid oxide fuel cells–gas turbine systems for combined heat and power: A review. Applied Energy, 2015. 156: p. 32-85.
[4] Sadeghi, H. et al., Numerical Investigation of Gas Channel Geometry of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2020. 1(1): p. 93-114.
[5] Rostami, M. and A.h. Farajollahi, Aerodynamic performance of mutual interaction tandem propellers with ducted UAV. Aerospace Science and Technology, 2021. 108: p. 106399.
[6] Marchant, W. and S. Tosunoglu. Rethinking wildfire suppression with swarm robotics. in Proceedings of the 29th Florida Conference on Recent Advances in Robotics, FCRAR. 2016.
[7] Rechberger, J. et al., Demonstration of the first European SOFC APU on a heavy duty truck. Transportation Research Procedia, 2016. 14: p. 3676-3685.
[8] Kaya, N. et al., Parametric study of exergetic sustainability performances of a high altitude long endurance unmanned air vehicle using hydrogen fuel. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2016. 41(19): p. 8323-8336.
[9] Cirigliano, D. et al., Diesel, spark-ignition, and turboprop engines for long-duration unmanned air flights. Journal of Propulsion and Power, 2018. 34(4): p. 878-892.
[10] Beigzadeh, M., F. Pourfayaz, and S.M. Pourkiaei, Modeling Heat and Power Generation for Green Buildings based on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Renewable Fuels (Biogas). Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2020. 1(1): p. 55-63.
[11] Rostami, M., M. Dehghan Manshadi, and E. Afshari, Performance evaluation of two proton exchange membrane and alkaline fuel cells for use in UAVs by investigating the effect of operating altitude. International Journal of Energy Research, 2021.
[12] Eisavi, B. et al., Thermo-environmental and economic comparison of three different arrangements of solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine (SOFC-GT) hybrid systems. Energy Conversion and Management, 2018. 168: p. 343-356.
[13] Alirahmi, S.M., M. Rostami, and A.H. Farajollahi, Multi-criteria design optimization and thermodynamic analysis of a novel multi-generation energy system for hydrogen, cooling, heating, power, and freshwater. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2020.
[14] Tucker, M.C., Development of High Power Density Metal‐Supported Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Energy Technology, 2017. 5(12): p. 2175-2181.
[15] Azizi, M.A. and J. Brouwer, Progress in solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine hybrid power systems: System design and analysis, transient operation, controls and optimization. Applied energy, 2018. 215: p. 237-289.
[16] Alayi, R., et al., Optimization, Sensitivity Analysis, and Techno-Economic Evaluation of a Multi-Source System for an Urban Community: a Case Study. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2021: p. -.
[17] Beiranvand, A. et al., Energy, Exergy, and Economic Analyses and Optimization of Solar Organic Rankine Cycle with Multi-objective Particle Swarm Algorithm. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2021. 2(1): p. 9-23.
[18] Himansu, A. et al., Hybrid solid oxide fuel cell/gas turbine system design for high altitude long endurance aerospace missions. 2006.
[19] Aguiar, P., D. Brett, and N. Brandon, Solid oxide fuel cell/gas turbine hybrid system analysis for high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2008. 33(23): p. 7214-7223.
[20] Fernandes, A., T. Woudstra, and P. Aravind, System simulation and exergy analysis on the use of biomass-derived liquid-hydrogen for SOFC/GT powered aircraft. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2015. 40(13): p. 4683-4697.
[21] Okai, K. et al. Performance analysis of a fuel cell hybrid aviation propulsion system. in 10th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference. 2012.
[22] Okai, K., et al. Investigation of FC/GT hybrid core in electrical propulsion for fan aircraft. in 51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE joint propulsion conference. 2015.
[23] Yanovskiy, L.S. et al., Alternative fuels and perspectives solid oxide fuel cells usage in air transport. ECS Transactions, 2013. 57(1): p. 149.
[24] Guo, F. et al., Performance analysis of a turbofan engine integrated with solid oxide fuel cells based on Al-H2O hydrogen production for more electric long-endurance UAVs. Energy Conversion and Management, 2021. 235: p. 113999.
[25] Roushenas, R. et al., Thermo-environmental analysis of a novel cogeneration system based on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and compressed air energy storage (CAES) coupled with turbocharger. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2020. 181: p. 115978.
[26] Ji, Z. et al., Advanced exergy and graphical exergy analyses for solid oxide fuel cell turbine-less jet engines. Journal of Power Sources, 2020. 456: p. 227979.
[27] Jansen, R. et al. Turboelectric aircraft drive key performance parameters and functional requirements. in 51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE joint propulsion conference. 2015.
[28] Roth, B. and R. Giffin. Fuel cell hybrid propulsion challenges and opportunities for commercial aviation. in 46th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE joint propulsion conference & exhibit. 2010.
[29] Ly, L.T., Computational Investigation and Experimental Validation of a Small Subsonic Turbine-less Jet Engine Concept. 2010, California State University, Los Angeles.
[30] Buchanan, T., I. Anderson, and S. Woodard, Ultralight Turbine-less Jet Engine. 2016.
[31] Ji, Z. et al., Performance assessment of a solid oxide fuel cell turbine-less jet hybrid engine integrated with a fan and afterburners. Aerospace Science and Technology, 2021. 116: p. 106800.
[32] Ji, Z. et al., Comparative performance analysis of solid oxide fuel cell turbine-less jet engines for electric propulsion airplanes: Application of alternative fuel. Aerospace Science and Technology, 2019. 93: p. 105286.
[33] Martinez, A.S., J. Brouwer, and G.S. Samuelsen, Comparative analysis of SOFC–GT freight locomotive fueled by natural gas and diesel with onboard reformation. Applied energy, 2015. 148: p. 421-438.
[34] Spallina, V. et al., Integration of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and chemical looping combustion (CLC) for ultra-high efficiency power generation and CO2 production. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 2018. 71: p. 9-19.
[35] Xu, Y.-w. et al., Development of solid oxide fuel cell and battery hybrid power generation system. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2020. 45(15): p. 8899-8914.
[36] Marefati, M., M. Mehrpooya, and S.A. Mousavi, Introducing an integrated SOFC, linear Fresnel solar field, Stirling engine and steam turbine combined cooling, heating and power process. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2019. 44(57): p. 30256-30279.
[37] Pirkandi, J., M. Mahmoodi, and M. Ommian, An optimal configuration for a solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine (SOFC-GT) hybrid system based on thermo-economic modelling. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2017. 144: p. 375-386.
[38] Mehrpooya, M., H. Dehghani, and S.A. Moosavian, Optimal design of solid oxide fuel cell, ammonia-water single effect absorption cycle and Rankine steam cycle hybrid system. Journal of Power Sources, 2016. 306: p. 107-123.
[39] Moradi, M. and M. Mehrpooya, Optimal design and economic analysis of a hybrid solid oxide fuel cell and parabolic solar dish collector, combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) system used for a large commercial tower. Energy, 2017. 130: p. 530-543.
[40] Siddiqui, O. and I. Dincer, Analysis and performance assessment of a new solar-based multigeneration system integrated with ammonia fuel cell and solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine combined cycle. Journal of Power Sources, 2017. 370: p. 138-154.
[41] Chan, S., K. Khor, and Z. Xia, A complete polarization model of a solid oxide fuel cell and its sensitivity to the change of cell component thickness. Journal of power sources, 2001. 93(1-2): p. 130-140.
[42] Aguiar, P., C. Adjiman, and N.P. Brandon, Anode-supported intermediate temperature direct internal reforming solid oxide fuel cell. I: model-based steady-state performance. Journal of power sources, 2004. 138(1-2): p. 120-136.
[43] Alaswad, A. et al., Advances in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Materials, in Reference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering. 2020, Elsevier.
[44] Ali, S., K. Sørensen, and M.P. Nielsen, Modeling a novel combined solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC)-Biomass gasification renewable methanol production system. Renewable Energy, 2020. 154: p. 1025-1034.
[45] Ji, Z. et al., Determination of the safe operation zone for a turbine-less and solid oxide fuel cell hybrid electric jet engine on unmanned aerial vehicles. Energy, 2020. 202: p. 117532.
[46] Korakianitis, T. and D. Wilson, Models for predicting the performance of Brayton-cycle engines. 1994.
[47] Ji, Z. et al., Thermodynamic performance evaluation of a turbine-less jet engine integrated with solid oxide fuel cells for unmanned aerial vehicles. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2019. 160: p. 114093.
[48] Manigandan, S. et al., Impact of additives in Jet-A fuel blends on combustion, emission and exergetic analysis using a micro-gas turbine engine. Fuel, 2020. 276: p. 118104.
[49] Naseri, A. et al., Thermodynamic and Exergy Analyses of a Novel Solar-Powered CO2 Transcritical Power Cycle with Recovery of Cryogenic LNG Using Stirling Engines. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2020. 1(2): p. 175-185.
[50] Almeida Pazmiño, G.A. and S. Jung, Thermodynamic modeling of sulfuric acid decomposer integrated with 1 MW tubular SOFC stack for sulfur-based thermochemical hydrogen production. Energy Conversion and Management, 2021. 247: p. 114735.
[51] Abbasi, H.R. et al., Thermodynamic analysis of a tri-generation system using SOFC and HDH desalination unit. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2021.
[52] Javadi, M.A. et al., Comparison of Monte Carlo Simulation and Genetic Algorithm in Optimal Wind Farm Layout Design in Manjil Site based on Jensen Model. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2021. 2(2): p. 211-221.
[53] Ghazvini, M., S.M. Pourkiaei, and F. Pourfayaz, Thermo-Economic Assessment and Optimization of Actual Heat Engine Performance by Implemention of NSGA II. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2020. 1(2): p. 235-245.
[54] Singh, K. et al., Optimization of tribological performance of natural fibers/epoxy composites using ANOVA & TOPSIS approach. Materials Today: Proceedings, 2021.
[55] Mehrpooya, M. et al., Numerical investigation of a new combined energy system includes parabolic dish solar collector, Stirling engine and thermoelectric device. International Journal of Energy Research, 2021.
[56] Guler, E. and S. Yerel Kandemir, Assessment of Wind Power Plant Potentials via MCDM Methods in Marmara Region of Turkey. Renewable Energy Research and Applications, 2021. 2(2): p. 157-163.