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“Distributed hybrid systems” (e-Power talks)


Safran covered the topic of distributed hybrid systems during an e-power talk presented by Pascal Dauriac, R&T programs Vice President, Safran Helicopter Engines, and Eric Dalbies, CEO, Safran Power Units.

ePower conference #3: Distributed hybrid systems - by Pascal Dauriac and Eric Dalbies

After kicking off the conference with a definition of hybrid distributed propulsion, Pascal Dauriac explained the potential new architectures that are now possible using this technology. These include VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) multirotor machines designed with e-propellers and fixed wing applications that can be fitted with up to eight or ten propellers instead of four. He went on to explain that there is a rising demand (urban mobility, logistics, environmental consciousness, etc.) for new types of propulsion solutions and although Safran is ready with the technology to start serving the market, further collaboration with regulators at a national and European level is required.

Pascal Dauriac also briefed the audience on energy sources currently available, namely: pure electrical solutions for short duration flights; hybrid solutions for longer-range fixed-wing applications requiring more power (using a gas turbine, a battery and a storage system); and fuel cells. Eric Dalbies provided an in-depth definition of fuel cells, explaining that they are an eco-friendly, complementary energy source.  He then went on to present fuel cell technology enablers which include hydrogen storage technology, technology inside the fuel cell stack, and thermal management. In his concluding remarks, Eric Dalbies stressed that Safran’s approach is not to find the best source of energy, but rather to combine energy sources in the most efficient way to meet mission requirements.

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