Modeling, system identification, and parameter estimation for electrified aircraft systems and hydroelectric power plants

Podlaski, Meaghan, Hughes
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Chow, Joe, H
Julius, Agung
Gandhi, Farhan
Vanfretti, Luigi
Bombois, Xavier
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Electrical engineering
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In recent years, there has been a push to electrify everyday technologies to help meet emissionsreduction and promote more sustainable energy consumption practices. In this work, three systems that consider the different aspects of electrification development are modeled, identified, and analyzed. The methods applied for modeling, identification and analysis aim to help in making electrification more sustainable throughout the entire engineering life cycle. This work considers a model-based systems engineering framework, where the systems are represented by physics-based models to analyze with system identification methods and for various trade studies. Hydroelectric power plants are well-established systems that have been in operation for decades, wherefield measurement data collected from the electric power grid is used to validate and identify power plant models. These models have been defined in a standardized and custom manner, allowing us to apply our methodology to a system with models that have been in use for a long time. The parameters of the models are estimated using field data, showing the value in model maintenance and standardization. This work also introduces a methodology for validating the individual components of a power plant, making it necessary to re-identify and re-validate only the affected components. This methodology is incredibly valuable when performing re-validation, as considering only the invalid component reduces the complexity of the optimization problem. Next, we model and study an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. These systems are inan earlier stage of development than Hydroelectric power plants, where physical prototypes and products exist for some eVTOL systems, but have been limited in wide-scale application and therefore operational measurement data is not readily available (e.g. hobbyist drones). Many existing eVTOL systems are small, so this work shows how we can expand on the existing modeling technology and study multi-domain dependencies when eVTOL are scaled to provide human-scale transport. The modeling approach enables the development of a library to model quadcopters using physics-based components through a flexible modeling framework. It is then used to study an eVTOL drivetrain to determine the effects of battery configuration and motor modeling fidelity on dynamic response, showing necessary considerations needed for eVTOL design. The third system discussed is an electrified aircraft system that is still in the early phases of design anddevelopment. It is necessary to expand upon existing research to develop sub-domain components for the aircraft as there is no cohesive physical prototype of the specific aircraft or its subsystems available to validate the models. A novel system architecture was developed for the fully-electric aircraft concept, showing the different considerations needed to design the electrical and thermal systems as well as each of the individual subsystems. This also required the development of novel cryogenic component models, which were then studied in the aircraft configuration under fault conditions. This fault study shows how the sizing of other components in a novel aircraft system can be utilized to mitigate the impact of faults.
December 2022
School of Engineering
Dept. of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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