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Comparing Hydrogen and Jet-A for a Ultra High-Bypass Turbofan with Water Recirculation.

AIAA 2023-4018
Session: Aircraft Design Optimization II
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Advances in commercial propulsion technology led to the development of efficient high bypass ratio turbofan engines with larger overall pressure ratios and internal temperatures. Current trends suggest that geared ultra high bypass ratio turbofans are the next generation of commercial propulsion systems. Furthermore, the emphasis on decreasing emissions has driven the exploration of hydrogen-powered aircraft, adding to the already challenging design space. Carrying and burning hydrogen introduces complexity and weight penalties that we must offset using the fuel’s thermodynamic and chemical properties. In this study, we model a closed- loop water recirculation system with a zero-dimensional thermodynamic model and compare the benefits between Jet-A and hydrogen fuels. We perform a gradient-based optimization parameter sweep to explore the trade-offs between performance and emissions using both fuels with water recirculation. The results quantify the design space for next-generation propulsion concepts that can take advantage of hydrogen fuel’s thermodynamic properties to reduce emissions and improve performance.