What is the electrical power output of a turbofan engine?

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Summary:

A typical, modern turbofan engine system of an aircraft also works as a generator to produce the electricity. What is the power output we normally have?

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello All,
Happy New Year!

A typical modern turbofan engine system creates lift as well as propulsion for the aircraft. Somewhere inside the system, the fast rotating device also works as a generator (alternator) to produce the electricity powering electrical/electronics equipments. What is the quantity of power (Kw/Mw) typically produced? For instance, for a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 or Engine Alliance GP7000 (A380-861) turbofan used for Airbus A380 - what is the power output? My personal search on the engine performance did not exactly pick up the specific electrical power.

Can anybody help me with the parameter please?

Many thanks in advance
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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A good first guess would be the electrical power needs of the aircraft. Have you tried searching for the answer that way?

And is this for schoolwork? I can move the thread to the schoolwork forums if it is. Thanks.
 
  • #3
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Thanks anorlunda, for the link.

No, berkeman: This is not schoolwork. I am trying to figure out how much extra electrical power are left after feeding the internal systems. Whether enough is left to run an additional array of small, electrical rotors.
 
  • #5
berkeman
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Whether enough is left to run an additional array of small, electrical rotors.
Like blenders? For smoothies? :wink:
 
  • #6
berkeman
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Also, keep in mind that if your smoothie-making (or whatever) electrical rotors are not mission-critical (and can be shut off in an emergency), there should be lots of extra power available on multi-engine aircraft.

Quiz Question -- Why? :smile:
 
  • #7
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Also, keep in mind that if your smoothie-making (or whatever) electrical rotors are not mission-critical (and can be shut off in an emergency), there should be lots of extra power available on multi-engine aircraft.

Quiz Question -- Why? :smile:
That is very vital information ("... lots of extra power available on multi-engine aircraft"), berkeman. Thanks. Actually I was toying with the idea/design of having an array (say 4 x 50) of tiny rotors at the bottom and along the length of the aircraft. (Just to clarify: these rotors will be shielded properly to avoid damage and air will be sucked in). The objective is to get necessary lifts by these rotors for the aircraft in an attempt to achieve VTOL (not for A380 but more modest-sized aircrafts)? I was wondering how to power these rotors.
 
  • #8
berkeman
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That is very vital information ("... lots of extra power available on multi-engine aircraft"), berkeman. Thanks. Actually I was toying with the idea/design of having an array (say 4 x 50) of tiny rotors at the bottom and along the length of the aircraft. (Just to clarify: these rotors will be shielded properly to avoid damage and air will be sucked in). The objective is to get necessary lifts by these rotors for the aircraft in an attempt to achieve VTOL (not for A380 but more modest-sized aircrafts)? I was wondering how to power these rotors.
There's nowhere enough excess power available for VTOL. VTOL takes a purpose-built aircraft design, not using a few extra kW of generator power. And I would also point out that VTOL power is mission-critical, so that shoots that other whole line of Quiz Question that I was asking...
 
  • #9
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Of course using "excess" electrical energy will reduce the engine's thrust or increase fuel consumption. Additional load on the gas turbine will decrease it's life too. There is no free energy available.
 
  • #10
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I totally agree that it has to be a dedicated design (not the proverbial pig with wings...). But I assume that the rotors will need power during take-off/landing only? For gaining height and cruising of the aircraft, the existing engine power (assuming the engines are sufficiently powerful) will suffice?
 
  • #11
berkeman
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I totally agree that it has to be a dedicated design (not the proverbial pig with wings...). But I assume that the rotors will need power during take-off/landing only? For gaining height and cruising of the aircraft, the existing engine power (assuming the engines are sufficiently powerful) will suffice?
What detailed reading have you done so far about current VTOL aircraft?
 
  • #12
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I assume that you already know about Harriers and Ospreys (aircraft, not birds). Why do you suppose each of these aircraft designers chose not to mix jets and propellers?
 
  • #13
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Please allow me to reply tomorrow...
 
  • #14
FactChecker
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I assume that you already know about Harriers and Ospreys (aircraft, not birds). Why do you suppose each of these aircraft designers chose not to mix jets and propellers?
The F-35B does have both a jet engine for thrust and a driven lift propeller. It actually gives the F-35B an advantage over the Harrier design because the propeller does not generate the hot exhaust that can cause problems at the jet inlet.
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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That is very vital information ("... lots of extra power available on multi-engine aircraft"), berkeman. Thanks. Actually I was toying with the idea/design of having an array (say 4 x 50) of tiny rotors at the bottom and along the length of the aircraft. (Just to clarify: these rotors will be shielded properly to avoid damage and air will be sucked in). The objective is to get necessary lifts by these rotors for the aircraft in an attempt to achieve VTOL (not for A380 but more modest-sized aircrafts)? I was wondering how to power these rotors.
You should look at the power output (not by a generator, but the actual output of the engine) and thrust vs the mass of the airplane. I think you will find that the takeoff roll is what it is, and there is little opportunity for reducing it with larger fans.
 
  • #16
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You are not the first who is thinking about VTOL by electric fans, but I think a direct approach would be more ... direct.

Te problem is the size. It works for an aircraft with limited range/size, but not for anything big. The linked engines can produce thrust of ~ 350kN: that would be able to make 35t mass hover. A380 is four engine, so you can have raw capacity to lift 140t against the 500+t MTOW when it's done the classical way.
And that's just hovering alone.

Also, VTOL is a risky business: I'm not sure it would gain approval for commercial/passenger usage.
 
  • #17
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The F-35B does have both a jet engine for thrust and a driven lift propeller. It actually gives the F-35B an advantage over the Harrier design because the propeller does not generate the hot exhaust that can cause problems at the jet inlet.
Thank all of you very much for your rich and very knowledgeable contribution. I got some very valuable insight!
 

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