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DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Aero Engine Technology


AE4238

Assignment 2
Efficiencies and Energy Losses in the GEnx Engine

Frans Loekito (4776887)

October 04, 2018


List of Symbol, Abbreviations, and Station Number
Table A. Symbol
Symbol Explanation Unit
Cp Specific heat capacity [J/kg K]
F Thrust force [N], [kN]
ṁ Mass flow [kg/s]
T Temperature [K]
η Efficiency [-]
p Pressure [Pa]
P Power [W], [MW]
κ Ratio of specific heat (kappa) [-]
v0 Flight speed [m/s]
v Velocity [m/s]
KE Kinetic energy [J]

Table B. Abbreviations and subscripts


Subscripts/Acronyms Explanation
LHV Fuel lower heating value
HPC High pressure compressor
HPT High pressure turbine
LPC Low pressure compressor
LPT Low pressure turbine
a Air
amb Ambient
gg Gas generator
OPR Overall pressure ratio
TIT Turbine inlet temperature
f fuel

Table C. Station numbering


Station Number Location
0 Ambient
2 First compressor inlet (fan)
21 Core-side fan exit
25 LPC exit
3 Last compressor exit (HPC exit)
4 Combustion chamber exit
45 HPT exit
5 LPT exit
8 Core nozzle exit
18 Bypass nozzle exit
g Gas generator exit
1. Problem
Recently, there is an ever increasing demand for a more efficient engine in the aviation
industry. As an engineer, to comply with this demand, we have to identify the cause of
inefficiencies in the current aircraft engine, and choose the correct method to diminish said
lossses. In this report, we will discuss about the various efficiencies of one of the latest engine
in civil aviation, the GEnx. Given below is the general characteristic of the GEnx engine at the
top of the climb (ToC) condition:
- Altitude : 30000 ft - Fan pressure ratio : 1.6
- Mach : 0.7 - Bypass ratio : 9.3
- Corr. air mass flow rate : 1160 kg/s - Overall pressure ratio : 53.5
- Gas constant : 287 kJ/kg K - LPC pressure ratio : 2.1
- Fuel calorific value (LHV) : 43 MJ - Combustor pressure ratio : 0.96
- Kappa air : 1.4 - Intake isentropic eff. : 0.99
- Kappa gas : 1.33 - Fan isentropic eff. : 0.92
- Cp air : 1000 kJ/kgK - LPC isentropic eff. : 0.92
- Cp gas : 1150 kJ/kgK - HPC isentropic eff. : 0.92
- T4 : 1700 K - Combustor isentropic eff. : 0.99
- HPT isentropic eff. : 0.91 - Nozzle isentropic eff. : 0.99
- LPT isentropic eff. : 0.91 - Convergent nozzle
- Mechanical eff. : 0.99 - Two spool arrangement

Table 1. Pressure, temperature, and mass flow rate of an actual engine cycle
Station Pressure (Pa) Temperature (K) Mass flow rate (kg/s)
2 41733.19707 251.0577 513.4555513
21 66773.11532 290.2774798 513.4555513
13 66773.11532 290.2774798 463.6054978
18 35026.2306 241.8978998 463.6054978
25 140223.5422 364.7796423 49.85005352
3 2232726.043 842.6102348 49.85005352
4 2143417.002 1700 51.01551126
45 619192.3404 1289.799113 51.01551126
5 109127.7767 879.0528414 51.01551126
7 109127.7767 879.0528414 51.01551126
8 58573.61996 754.5517952 51.01551126

Table 2. Pressure, temperature, and mass flow rate of an ideal engine cycle
Station Pressure (Pa) Temperature (K) Mass flow rate (kg/s)
2 41864 251.0577 513.4566
21 66982 287.1399 513.4566
13 66982 287.1399 403.6055
18 35385 239.2832 403.6055
25 140660 354.9410 49.8501
3 2239700 782.6884 49.8501
4 2239700 1700 51.073
45 850550 1337 51.073
5 226270 962.5622 51.073
7 226270 962.5622 51.073
8 122270 790.2337 51.073
The temperature and pressure at every station in the engine (real and ideal cycle) are given in
Table 1 and Table 2. The core and bypass thrust for both real and ideal cycles have also been
calculated in the previous assignment, with Fcore,real = 26.952 kN, Fbypass,real = 60.451 kN,
Fcore,ideal = 34.152 kN, and Fbypass,ideal = 60.489 kN. From the data provided, we will calculate
the combustion, thermodynamic, jet generation, propulsion, thermal, and the total efficiency of
the engine. Then, as a comparison, we will also calculate the efficiencies of the ideal cycle
(100% component efficiency and no pressure loss in the combustion chamber). The efficiencies
of both cycles will then be used to visualize two Sankey diagrams for the engine (for both real
and ideal cycles). The diagram will then be used to discuss how the losses in the engine can be
decreased.

2. Assumptions
In analyzing this problem, several assumptions are made:
- Cp and kappa is constant (independent of temperature)
- No temperature & pressure drop at ducts connecting the components
- No mass flow rate losses in the sections (no bleed air)
- No turbine cooling
- In the ideal cycle, the compression and expansion processes are isentropic (adiabatic,
reversible)
- The change of kinetic energy of working fluid between inlet and outlet of each component
is negligible (ideal cycle).
- The ambient pressure and temperature at 30000 ft are 228.65 K and 30180.8 Pa,
respectively.

3. Procedure
The procedure to calculate the efficiencies is as follows:
a. Combustion Efficiency
The combustion efficiency is the ratio of the heat transferred to the gas and the amount of
chemical energy in the fuel (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.52):
𝑚̇𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑟 (𝑇4 −𝑇3 )
𝜂𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑏 =
𝑚̇𝑓𝑢𝑒𝑙 𝐿𝐻𝑉
b. Thermodynamic Efficiency
The thermodynamic efficiency is the ratio between useful work and the heat required. Based
on the T-s diagram for the engine core side below,

Figure 1. Engine core side T-s diagram, real cycle

the useful work is denoted by Pgg (gas power), power inside the gas after turbine expansion,
which will be used for the engine’s propulsion. The position of the points are such that in an
ideal T-s diagram, the distance between 4-g is equal to the distance of 2-3, representing the
required specific compression power (fan, booster, HPC) (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.18). We can
calculate Pgg using (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.52):
𝜅𝑔 −1
𝑝𝑎𝑚𝑏 𝜅𝑔 𝑚̇𝑣0 2
𝑃𝑔𝑔 = 𝑚̇𝑐𝑝𝑔𝑎𝑠 (𝑇𝑔 (1 − ) )−
𝑝𝑔 2
Where v0 denotes the intake air speed (flight speed). Tt,g is the temperature at point g in the T-
s diagram. The line 5-g signifies the energy used to power the fan. To find Tt,g, we use the
formulas used to calculate the temperature and pressure at LPT. However, to calculate Wfan
only for the core flow, we use only the core mass flow (ṁcore), Wfancore = ṁcore cpair (Tt,21-Tt,2).
After determining Wfancore, calculate Tg using a simple energy balance equation (Wfancore = ṁ4
cpgas (Tt,45-Tt,g)ηs,LPT). pg, the pressure after the gas generator, can be calculated (Buijtenen et
al, 2018, p.51):
𝜅𝑔 −1
𝑇𝑔 𝑝𝑔 𝜅𝑔
= 1 − 𝜂𝑠,𝐿𝑃𝑇 ( )
𝑇𝑡,45 𝑝𝑡,45
Qin, line 3-4, is the heat used to raise the air temperature in the combustion chamber. Thus, the
thermodynamic efficiency is given by (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.52):
𝑃𝑔𝑔
𝜂𝑡ℎ𝑑𝑦 =
𝑚̇𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑟 (𝑇4 −𝑇3 )
c. Jet Generation Efficiency
The jet generation efficiency is the ratio between the propulsive jet energy and the gas power
(Pgg). To find the propulsive jet energy, we must first calculate the thrust power, as seen in
(Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.76), Pthrust = Σ Fthrust(v0), where v0 is the flight speed. The Σ sign points
that in a turbofan engine, the total thrust power is the sum of core and bypass thrust power.
Pthrust then becomes:
𝑃𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑡 = 𝑣0 (𝐹𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 + 𝐹𝑏𝑦𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠 )
The propulsive jet power is the sum of the thrust power and the unused kinetic energy, which
is contained in the ambient air after the nozzle, in terms of absolute velocity relative to the
static environment (Saravanamuttoo, 2001, p.100). The term, adding the contribution of kinetic
energy loss in the bypass side, is defined by the formula:
𝑚̇𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑚̇𝑏𝑦𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠
𝐾𝐸𝑗𝑒𝑡,𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑒𝑛𝑣𝑖𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡 = (𝑣8 − 𝑣0 )2 + (𝑣18 − 𝑣0 )2
2 2
Again, same as the thrust power, we must take into account the bypass flow, as the jet stream
leaving the engine bypass side has a kinetic energy, in terms of absolute velocity relative to the
static environment. Hence, the propulsive jet power is:
𝑃𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑗𝑒𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 = 𝑃𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑡 +𝐾𝐸𝑗𝑒𝑡,𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑐 𝑒𝑛𝑣𝑖𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡
The jet generation efficiency is then, as seen in (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.78):
𝑃𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑗𝑒𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟
𝜂𝑗𝑒𝑡.𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟 =
𝑃𝑔𝑔
d. Thermal Efficiency
The thermal efficiency is the efficiency of the energy conversion within the power plant, which
is the combination of combustion, thermodynamics, and jet generation efficiency. We can
formulate the efficiency by (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.77):
𝑃𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑗𝑒𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟
𝜂𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑙 = 𝜂𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑏 𝑥 𝜂𝑡ℎ𝑑𝑦 𝑥 𝜂𝑗𝑒𝑡.𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑟 =
𝑚̇𝑓𝑢𝑒𝑙 𝐿𝐻𝑉
e. Propulsive Efficiency
The propulsive efficiency is the ratio between the actual thrust power produced by the engine,
and the propulsive jet power, which is (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.77):
𝑃𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑡
𝜂𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝 =
𝑃𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑗𝑒𝑡 𝑝𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟
f. Total Efficiency
The total efficiency of the engine, which is the ratio of the thrust power produced and the
chemical energy in the fuel, is then simply the product of the propulsive efficiency and the
thermal efficiency (Saravanamuttoo, 2001, p.102):
𝑃𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑡
𝜂𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 = 𝜂𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑝 𝑥 𝜂𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑎𝑙 =
𝑚̇𝑓𝑢𝑒𝑙 𝐿𝐻𝑉

4. Result
Based on the calculation performed using the procedure in section 3, Table 3 shows the
value of the cycles’ efficiencies.

Table 3. Various efficiencies of the real and ideal cycle of GEnx engine
ηcombustion ηthdy ηjet.genr ηthermal ηpropulsive ηtotal
Real cycle 99% 55.88% 86.67% 47.95% 79.06% 37.17%
Ideal Cycle 100% 58.94% 100% 58.94% 76.77% 45.24%
Then, we can construct a Sankey diagram for the real and the ideal cycle of the GEnx engine
(figure 3). Comparing the two diagrams, we can see that the combustion, thermodynamic, and
jet generation efficiency are lower in the real cycle because of higher power loss in the real
cycle. The thermal efficiency, which is the product of the three aforementioned efficiencies,
will in turn also be lower in the real cycle. The propulsive efficiency of the ideal cycle, on the
other hand, is lower than that of the real cycle. In an ideal cycle, the component of thrust caused
by the momentum difference between the jet and the ambient air, which is proportional to the
velocity difference between the jet and the ambient air, is higher than in the real cycle.
Therefore, the kinetic energy loss, which is also proportional to the square of the velocity
difference, will also increase. Based on the two diagrams, we can also see the chemical energy
of the ideal cycle is higher than that of the real cycle. This is understandable, as the ideal cycle
has a higher fuel mass flow rate than the real cycle. However, the most noticeable difference
between the two diagrams is that the combustor efficiency is 100% in the ideal cycle, hence
there is no energy loss due to incomplete combustion, or due to heat loss in the nozzle. On the
other hand, even with the 100% isentropic efficiency in every component, there will always be
heat losses in the gas generator part of the engine, as seen as in the ideal cycle Sankey diagram.

(a) (b)
Figure 2. Sankey diagram of GEnx engine in top of climb condition for (a) real cycle,
and (b) ideal cycle
This fact is in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, which states: it is impossible
to extract an amount of heat from a hot reservoir and use it all to do work without exhausting
some of the heat into a reservoir. Therefore, it is impossible to change all the heat energy into
the useful work, without having any losses as that depicted in the ideal cycle Sankey diagram.
In order to decrease the heat losses and the incomplete combustion losses, the most
logical thing to do is to increase each component’s isentropic efficiency, as displayed in the
reducing trend between said losses in the real and ideal cycle. On the other hand, other methods
can also be used to decrease these losses. We can increase the overall pressure ratio (OPR) to
decrease the heat loss in the gas generator. For example, when the OPR is increased from 53.5
to 60, the heat loss in the gas generator will decrease about 4%, as seen in Table 4:

Table 4. Percentage of losses in the engine


% Heat loss gas % Heat loss % Kinetic energy ηProp
generator nozzle loss
OPR 53.5 44.54% 7.18% 10.03% 79.06%
OPR 60 40.55% 7.20% 10.10% 79.02%
TIT 1700K 44.54% 7.18% 10.03% 78.73%
TIT 1800K 45.7% 10.64% 9.95% 77.88%
However, there is a drawback in increasing the OPR, as a higher pressure is equal to higher air
density, requiring the compressor blade height to be so short that the gap size between the blade
and the wall becomes significant in comparison to the blade height, hence causing an increase
in tip leakage and backflow. The kinetic energy loss, on the other hand, will only decrease,
only if we decrease the mass flow, or the difference between jet speed and ambient air speed,
according to the formula for the loss in section 3. However, decreasing the mass flow or the
difference between jet speed and the ambient air speed results in a drop in thrust. Therefore,
the percentage of this energy loss with respect to the total chemical energy cannot be decreased.
However, we can still increase the propulsive efficiency by increasing the bypass ratio, as a
larger bypass duct will produce a larger total thrust, with only a small increase in fuel
consumption (a larger fan requires more energy) as a compensation.
Table 4 also shows the effect of increasing the TIT. When the TIT is increased by 100
K to 1800 K, the heat loss in the gas generator and the nozzle will increase about 1% and 3%
respectively. Therefore, it is implied that increasing the TIT will increase the heat losses, and
contrariwise. However, this effect contradicts the theories and fact in the literatures, as well as
the trend in recent aviation industries. Aviation industries nowadays push for a higher TIT, as
increasing the TIT should in fact increase the thermal efficiency, and decrease the heat losses.
Increase in T4 will increase the total work produced (Saravanamuttoo, 2001, p.48), and
therefore, will also increase the Pgg. Ultimately, increasing the TIT will increase the thermal
efficiency (Buijtenen et al, 2018, p.53). The problem may be clarified using the definition of
ηthm in section 3. The thermal efficiency is the ratio of the propulsive jet power and the chemical
energy in the fuel. Increasing the TIT will increase the fuel mass flow rate (ṁf), as more energy
from the fuel is required to heat the air into a higher T4. The total thrust, however, is the sum
of the core thrust, which will increase along with TIT, and the bypass thrust, which will stay
the same. As 60-70% of the total thrust is the bypass thrust, the increase in the total thrust, and
in turn the propulsive jet power, will be lower than that of the chemical energy, increasing the
heat losses. Additionally, by increasing TIT, the nozzle output temperature, and in turn the jet
velocity, will increase as well. Increasing the jet velocity will, in turn, increase the kinetic
energy loss (unused kinetic energy released to ambient).
5. Conclusion
Based on this assignment, we can conclude several important points:
 The thermal efficiency in the real cycle is lower than in the ideal cycle.
 However, the propulsive efficiency is slightly lower in the ideal cycle.
 The total efficiency of the ideal cycle, on the other hand, is higher than the real cycle.
 Increase in component isentropic efficiency will decrease all the losses, except the kinetic
energy loss.
 Increase in OPR will decrease the heat loss in the gas generator.
 Increasing TIT will increase the kinetic energy loss.
 The kinetic energy loss cannot be reduced, as reducing this loss means decreasing the
thrust.
 Based on the calculation performed, increasing TIT will increase the heat losses, which is
contrary to the facts in the literature, and also the recent trends.
References

Buijtenen et al. 2018. Aero Engine Technology, AE4-238. Delft: Faculty of Aerospace
Engineering, TU Delft.
Saravanamuttoo et al. 2001. Gas Turbine Theory. India: Pearson Education.