Journal Article

Thermal Management System Optimization for a Parallel Hybrid Aircraft Considering Mission Fuel Burn


E. J. Adler, B. J. Brelje, and J. R. R. A. Martins


Aerospace, 9(5), 2022



Electrified aircraft propulsion enables new aircraft designs with fewer emissions. One challenge of electrified architectures is handling the electrical components’ waste heat. This is because batteries and other electrical components are sensitive to high temperatures and accumulate heat within their structure. In this work, we investigate using a thermoacoustic refrigerator to cool the battery of a parallel hybrid single-aisle commercial transport aircraft. This thermoacoustic refrigeration system is powered by waste heat from the turbofan engine core, whereas a conventional refrigerator consumes electricity from the battery or shaft power offtakes. Compared to a conventional vapor cycle refrigerator, the thermoacoustic refrigeration system results in greater mission fuel burn because of pressure losses attributable to the extraction of heat from the turbofan to drive the thermoacoustic refrigerator. Heat exchangers with very low pressure losses may render the thermoacoustic refrigeration system beneficial compared to conventional refrigeration in certain use cases, such as low-altitude missions.