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Advanced Engineering 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

04/11/2020 - 05/11/2020

The UK's largest annual advanced manufacturing trade show, Advanced Engineering is your opportunity to (more)

Drives & Controls Exhibition

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

25/01/2021 - 27/01/2021

The show brings together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture (more)

Electric motors take to the skies with the Dreamliner

Electric motors take to the skies with the Dreamliner In the new Boeing 787 - the Dreamliner - a special air-conditioning system improves the comfort of the passengers on long flights. Brushless DC motors, spur gearheads and resolver combinations are key.

Last year, aircraft manufacturer Boeing launched a new long-distance aircraft, the Boeing 787, also called the Dreamliner. Unlike any other aircraft before it, the Dreamliner fuselage consists largely of carbon fibre. This offers an improved cabin atmosphere and pressure conditions. This makes long-distance flights more tolerable for the passengers.

Boeing reveals that the new innovative plastic body of the aircraft is stronger than a thin aluminium shell. The cabin pressure corresponds to a height of 1800m. This is deemed to be more passenger-friendly than the customary 2400m. Furthermore, the corrosion-resistant shell allows 15 per cent air humidity in the interior, instead of the customary 4 per cent. Therefore the climate system also works a little bit differently. The air is not drawn from the jet engines under pressure, but is instead fresh air from the outside atmosphere. On-board electric motors power compressors to prepare the cabin air for a comfortable flight experience.

All in all, 48 motors from Maxon are at work in the climate control system of each Boeing 787. Motors for aeronautic and astronautic applications differ greatly from standard motors. They have to withstand greater temperatures and vibrations, have a longer life span and have to be very reliable. Specific motor motions were required for the highly complex air-conditioning system. This included drives for the cabin ventilation, for cooling the electronics and for closing and opening the air inlet on the outside of the aircraft. The motors have to withstand temperatures of -55°C to +85°C and the vibrations during take-off and landing - throughout the decades of the aircraft's service life. Therefore it is vital that the motors have a long lifespan. The cabin ventilation system consists of 36 shut-off valves that are driven by Maxon EC 45 flat DC brushless motors. These light brushless motors have been designed to fit into even the smallest spaces.

The flat DC brushless motors achieve speeds of up to 20,000rpm and, thanks to their open design, offer excellent heat dissipation at high torques. The stator of the flat motors installed in the air-conditioning system has been adapted; the printed circuit board has been modified with low-temperature Hall sensors and the motor has been given a special protective conformal coating. A modified stator magnetic path prevents movement when the motor is unpowered further improving overall efficiency.

The linear drives for the air inlets use modified EC32 DC brushless motors which have also been equipped with low-temperature Hall sensors. Furthermore there is a flame barrier at the output shaft of the motor, a special vibration-resistant fastening screw threads and cogging detent-brake modules.
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