(19)
(11)EP 3 708 788 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
16.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/38

(21)Application number: 19211943.6

(22)Date of filing:  27.11.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F01D 15/10  (2006.01)
F02C 7/32  (2006.01)
F02C 7/12  (2006.01)
B64C 11/14  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 15.03.2019 US 201916354310

(71)Applicant: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Charlotte, NC 28217-4578 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • SPIERLING, Todd A.
    Rockford, IL 61109 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)

  


(54)TEMPERATURE CONTROL DEVICE FOR TAIL CONE MOUNTED GENERATOR


(57) A gas turbine engine including: a tail cone (100); a low pressure compressor (44); a low pressure turbine (46); a low speed spool (30) interconnecting the low pressure compressor and the low pressure turbine; and an electric generator (200) located within the tail cone, the electric generator being operably connected to the low speed spool; a structural support housing (280) at least partially enclosing the electric generator, the structural support housing being located within the tail cone; and a temperature control device (300) located within the tail cone between the structural support housing and the tail cone, wherein the temperature control device is in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing and the tail cone.




Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] The subject matter disclosed herein generally relates to gas turbine engines, and more specifically to electrical generators for gas turbine engines.

[0002] Conventional gas turbine engines are often tight on free space due to envelope constraints. Therefor innovative space-saving designs and architectures are often sought out when integrating new components into the gas turbine engine.

BRIEF SUMMARY



[0003] According to an embodiment, a gas turbine engine is provided. The gas turbine engine including: a tail cone; a low pressure compressor; a low pressure turbine; a low speed spool interconnecting the low pressure compressor and the low pressure turbine; and an electric generator located within the tail cone, the electric generator being operably connected to the low speed spool; a structural support housing at least partially enclosing the electric generator, the structural support housing being located within the tail cone; and a temperature control device located within the tail cone between the structural support housing and the tail cone, wherein the temperature control device is in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing and the tail cone.

[0004] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the temperature control device further includes: one or more coolant conveying tubes.

[0005] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the one or more coolant conveying tubes are arranged circumferentially around the structural support housing.

[0006] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the one or more coolant conveying tubes are arranged linearly along the structural support housing.

[0007] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include: a coolant circuit fluidly connected to the one or more coolant conveying tubes; and a heat rejection heat exchanger fluidly connected to the one or more coolant conveying tubes through the coolant circuit.

[0008] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include a bypass duct, wherein the heat rejection heat exchanger is in thermal communication with the bypass duct.

[0009] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include a bypass duct, wherein the heat rejection heat exchanger is located within the bypass duct.

[0010] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the temperature control device is configured to restrict heat transfer through the temperature control device between the structural support housing and the tail cone.

[0011] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the temperature control device is an insulation blanket.

[0012] According to another embodiment, an electric generation system for a gas turbine engine is provided. The electric generation system including: a tail cone; an electric generator located within the tail cone; a structural support housing at least partially enclosing the electric generator, the structural support housing being located within the tail cone; and a temperature control device located within the tail cone between the structural support housing and the tail cone, wherein the temperature control device is in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing and the tail cone.

[0013] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the temperature control device further includes: one or more coolant conveying tubes.

[0014] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the one or more coolant conveying tubes are arranged circumferentially around the structural support housing.

[0015] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the one or more coolant conveying tubes are arranged linearly along the structural support housing.

[0016] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include: a coolant circuit fluidly connected to the one or more coolant conveying tubes; and a heat rejection heat exchanger fluidly connected to the one or more coolant conveying tubes through the coolant circuit.

[0017] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the temperature control device is configured to restrict heat transfer through the temperature control device between the structural support housing and the tail cone.

[0018] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the temperature control device is an insulation blanket.

[0019] In addition to one or more of the features described above, or as an alternative, further embodiments may include that the electric generator is configured to connect to a low speed spool of the gas turbine engine.

[0020] The foregoing features and elements may be combined in various combinations without exclusivity, unless expressly indicated otherwise. These features and elements as well as the operation thereof will become more apparent in light of the following description and the accompanying drawings. It should be understood, however, that the following description and drawings are intended to be illustrative and explanatory in nature and non-limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION



[0021] The following descriptions should not be considered limiting in any way. With reference to the accompanying drawings, like elements are numbered alike:

FIG. 1 is a partial cross-sectional illustration of an example gas turbine engine;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional illustration of an electric generation system for the gas turbine engine of FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional illustration of the electric generation system of FIG. 2 incorporating a temperature control device, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional illustration of the electric generation system of FIG. 2 incorporating a temperature control device, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of a coolant circuit for use with the electric generation system of FIGS. 3 and 4, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional illustration of the electric generation system of FIG. 2 incorporating a temperature control device, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0022] A detailed description of one or more embodiments of the disclosed apparatus and method are presented herein by way of exemplification and not limitation with reference to the Figures.

[0023] High pressure spools of gas turbine engines may be used to drive accessories of the gas turbine engine. However, as engine bypass ratios increase, the capability of a high pressure spool to drive accessories, such as electric generators, has been diminished. Therefor it is desirable to drive accessories off of a low pressure spool of the gas turbine engine. Gas turbine engines typically drive accessories through a radial tower shaft and accessory gearbox operably connected to the high pressure spool, however connecting to the low pressure spool is more challenging.

[0024] Gas turbines may also include a tail cone at the rear of the engine to help accelerate the exhaust flow and create additional thrust. The enclosed area within this tail cone is typically empty space, and is also adjacent to the rotating low pressure spool. Embodiments disclosed herein seek to take advantage of this empty space by locating an electric generator within the tail cone and operably connecting the electric generator to the low speed spool such that the electric generator is driven by the low speed spool. High temperatures within the area of the tail cone complicate locating a generator within the tail cone and therefor embodiments disclosed herein also seek to address the challenges of locating the generator within the potentially high temperature environment of the tail cone.

[0025] FIG. 1 schematically illustrates an example gas turbine engine 20 that may incorporate embodiments of the present disclosure. The gas turbine engine 20 is disclosed herein as a two-spool turbofan that generally incorporates a fan section 22, a compressor section 24, a combustor section 26 and a turbine section 28. Alternative engines might include an augmentor section (not shown) among other systems or features. The fan section 22 drives air along a bypass flow path B in a bypass duct, while the compressor section 24 drives air along a core flow path C for compression and communication into the combustor section 26 then expansion through the turbine section 28. Although depicted as a two-spool turbofan gas turbine engine in the disclosed non-limiting embodiment, it should be understood that the concepts described herein are not limited to use with two-spool turbofans as the teachings may be applied to other types of turbine engines including three-spool architectures.

[0026] The exemplary engine 20 generally includes a low speed spool 30 and a high speed spool 32 mounted for rotation about an engine central longitudinal axis A relative to an engine static structure 36 via several bearing systems 38. It should be understood that various bearing systems 38 at various locations may alternatively or additionally be provided, and the location of bearing systems 38 may be varied as appropriate to the application.

[0027] The low speed spool 30 generally includes an inner shaft 40 that interconnects a fan 42, a low pressure compressor 44 and a low pressure turbine 46. The fan 42 may be driven at a lower speed than the low speed spool 30. The high speed spool 32 includes an outer shaft 50 that interconnects a high pressure compressor 52 and high pressure turbine 54. A combustor 56 is arranged in exemplary gas turbine 20 between the high pressure compressor 52 and the high pressure turbine 54. An engine static structure 36 is arranged generally between the high pressure turbine 54 and the low pressure turbine 46. The engine static structure 36 further supports bearing systems 38 in the turbine section 28. The inner shaft 40 and the outer shaft 50 are concentric and rotate via bearing systems 38 about the engine central longitudinal axis A, which is collinear with their longitudinal axes.

[0028] The core airflow is compressed by the low pressure compressor 44 then the high pressure compressor 52, mixed and burned with fuel in the combustor 56, then expanded over the high pressure turbine 54 and low pressure turbine 46. The turbine section 28 rotationally drives the respective low speed spool 30 and high speed spool 32 in response to the expansion. It will be appreciated that each of the positions of the fan section 22, compressor section 24, combustor section 26, and turbine section 28, may be varied.

[0029] The engine 20 in one example is a high-bypass geared aircraft engine. In a further example, the engine 20 bypass ratio is greater than about six (6), with an example embodiment being greater than about ten (10). In one disclosed embodiment, the engine 20 bypass ratio is greater than about ten (10:1), the fan diameter is significantly larger than that of the low pressure compressor 44, and the low pressure turbine 46 has a pressure ratio that is greater than about five 5:1. Low pressure turbine 46 pressure ratio is pressure measured prior to inlet of low pressure turbine 46 as related to the pressure at the outlet of the low pressure turbine 46 prior to an exhaust nozzle. A significant amount of thrust is provided by the bypass flow B due to the high bypass ratio.

[0030] The engine 20 includes a tail cone 100 located on a rear portion of the engine 20. The tail cone 100 is operably shaped to help accelerate the exhaust air flow exiting the core flow path C and create additional thrust for the engine 20. The tail cone 100 may be securely fastened to the engine 20 via a plurality of fasteners 110 to a structural portion of the engine 20. The structural portion of the gas turbine engine 20 may be the engine static structure 36. The plurality of fasteners 110 may be arranged circumferentially around the engine central longitudinal axis A. The tail cone 100 may be securely fastened to the engine 20 in a cantilevered arrangement, as shown in FIG. 1. The tail cone 100 includes a hollow interior space 120 within the tail cone 100. Conventional gas turbine engines typically leave this interior space empty and unused, however embodiments disclosed herein seek to utilize this interior space 120 by locating an electric generator within the interior space 120, as discussed further herein.

[0031] Referring now to FIG. 2, with continued reference to FIG. 1, a cross-section view of an electric generator 200 located within the interior space 120 of the tail cone 100 is illustrated, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The combination of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100 may be considered an electric generation system 80 for the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1. The electric generator 200 may be operably connected to the low speed spool 30 of the engine 20. A drive shaft coupling 202 may operably connect a shaft 210 of the electric generator 200 to the low speed spool 30. The low speed spool 30 is configured to rotate the shaft 210 of the electric generator 200 and the electric generator 200 is configured to generate electricity in response to the rotation of the shaft 210. The electricity generated by the electric generator 200 may be provided to the engine 20 and/or the aircraft to power various electrical devices.

[0032] The electric generator 200 may be a three-stage electrical generator that includes a main generator 220, an exciter generator 240, and a permanent magnet generator 260. It is understood that while a three-stage wound field synchronous electrical generator 200 is illustrated, the embodiments disclosed herein may be applied to other electrical generators including but not limited to a permanent magnet electrical generator, an induction electrical generator, a switched reluctance electrical generator, or any other electrical generator known to one of skill in the art.

[0033] The main generator 220, the exciter generator 240, and the permanent magnet generator 260 may each be brushless. The main generator 220 includes a main field winding 224 on a rotating portion 222 and a generator armature winding 228 of a stationary portion 226. The exciter generator 240 includes a rotating exciter armature winding 244 on a rotating portion 242 and an exciter winding 248 on a stationary portion 246. The permanent magnet generator 260 includes permanent magnets 264 employed on a rotating portion 262 and a winding 268 on a stator portion 266. The rotating portion 222 of the main generator 220, the rotating portion 242 of the exciter generator 240, and the rotating portion 262 of the permanent magnet generator 260 may each be operably connected to the shaft 210 of the electric generator 200 and configured to rotate with the shaft 210 around the engine central longitudinal axis A.

[0034] The rotation of permanent magnets 264 generates an alternating current voltage on windings 268 of the stator portion 266. The AC voltage provided by the permanent magnet generator 260 is rectified and selectively applied to an exciter winding 248 on a stationary portion 246 of the exciter generator 240. The exciter winding 248 generates a field that interacts with rotating exciter armature windings 244 on a rotating portion 242 of the exciter generator 240 to provide an AC voltage. A rotating rectifier assembly 250 rectifies the AC voltage and supplies the DC voltage to a main field winding 224 on the rotating portion 222 of the main generator 220. The rotating portion 224 may be operably connected to the low speed spool 30 through the shaft 210 and configured to rotate when the low speed spool 30 rotates. Rotation of the shaft 210 and the main field winding 224 induces three-phase AC output voltage on the generator armature winding 228 of the stationary portion 226 of the main generator 220.

[0035] The electric generator 200 is incased in a structural support housing 280 that provides structure support for the electric generator 200. The structural support housing 280 may be securely attached to a support structure (e.g., the engine static structure 36) of the gas turbine engine 20. The structural support housing 280 may be securely fastened to the engine 20 in a cantilevered arrangement, as shown in FIG. 1. The structural support housing 280 may at least partially enclose the electric generator 200. The structural support housing 280 may fully enclose the electric generator 200 with the exception of the drive shaft coupling 202 extending through the structural support housing 280 to connect to the low speed spool 30.

[0036] Referring now to FIGS. 3-5, with continued reference to FIGS. 1-2, a cross-section view of an electric generator 200 located within the interior space 120 of the tail cone 100 is illustrated, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The combination of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100 may be considered an electric generation system 80 for the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, a temperature control device 300 may be located interposed between the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100. The temperature control device 300 may be in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100.

[0037] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3-5, the temperature control device 300 may operate as a heat absorption heat exchanger of a heat exchanger system 400. As shown in FIG. 5, the heat exchanger system 400 may include at least one of a coolant pump 432, a heat rejection heat exchanger 434, and the temperature control device 300 (i.e., heat absorption heat exchanger or evaporator) connected in fluid communication in a closed loop coolant circuit 430. The coolant used in the coolant circuit 430 may be an oil. It is to be understood that other components (not shown) may be incorporated into the coolant circuit 430 as desired.

[0038] The temperature control device 300 may, for example, comprise one or more coolant conveying coiled tubes 310 or one or more tube banks formed of a plurality of coolant conveying tubes 310 extending between respective inlet and outlet manifolds. The coolant conveying tubes 310 may be in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100. In one embodiment, the coolant conveying tubes 310 of the temperature control device 300 may be arranged circumferentially around the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200, as shown in FIG. 3. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, coolant may flow circumferentially around the engine central longitudinal axis A through the coolant conveying tubes 310. In another embodiment, the coolant conveying tubes 310 of the temperature control device 300 may be arranged linearly along the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 (i.e., forward-to aft or aft-to-forward), as shown in FIG. 4. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, coolant may flow from forward-to-aft as shown by arrow 370 and/or aft-to-forward along the engine central longitudinal axis A through the coolant conveying tubes 310. It is understood that while two arrangements of coolant conveying tubes 310 are illustrated in FIGs. 3-4, any combination and/or arrangement of coolant tubes 310 may be utilized.

[0039] The heat rejection heat exchanger 434 may operate to reject heat from the coolant circuit 432 that was absorbed by the temperature control device 300. The heat rejection heat exchanger 434 may be in thermal communication with the bypass duct 42 of the engine 20. The heat rejection heat exchanger 434 may be located within the bypass duct 42 of the engine 20. Bypass air flowing through the bypass duct 42 may be used to absorb heat from the heat rejection heat exchanger 434. The heat absorption heat exchanger 434 may, for example, also comprise one or more coolant conveying coiled tubes or one or more tube banks formed of a plurality of coolant conveying tubes extending between respective inlet and outlet manifolds.

[0040] The coolant pump 432 may comprise a single-stage or multiple-stage compressor such as, for example, a reciprocating compressor or a scroll compressor. The coolant pump 432 has a compression mechanism (not shown) driven by a motor. The coolant pump 432 may be used to circulate coolant through the coolant circuit 430.

[0041] Referring now to FIG. 6, with continued reference to FIGS. 1-2, a cross-section view of an electric generator 200 located within the interior space 120 of the tail cone 100 is illustrated, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The combination of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100 may be considered an electric generation system 80 for the gas turbine engine 20 of FIG. 1. As shown in FIG. 6, a temperature control device 300 may be located interposed between the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100. The temperature control device 300 may be in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100.

[0042] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 6, the temperature control device 300 may be configured to restrict heat transfer through the temperature control device 300 between the structural support housing 280 of the electric generator 200 and the tail cone 100. In an embodiment, the temperature control device 300 may be an insulation blanket. In another embodiment, the electric generation system 80 may include multiple temperature control devices 300 that includes an insulation blanket and another temperature control device 300, such as, for example, the heat absorption heat exchangers illustrated in FIGS. 3-5.

[0043] The term "about" is intended to include the degree of error associated with measurement of the particular quantity based upon the equipment available at the time of filing the application.

[0044] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the present disclosure. As used herein, the singular forms "a", "an" and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises" and/or "comprising," when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, element components, and/or groups thereof.

[0045] While the present disclosure has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment or embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the present disclosure without departing from the scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that the present disclosure not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this present disclosure, but that the present disclosure will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the claims.


Claims

1. An electric generation system for a gas turbine engine, the electric generation system comprising:

a tail cone (100);

an electric generator (200) located within the tail cone;

a structural support housing (280) at least partially enclosing the electric generator, the structural support housing being located within the tail cone; and

a temperature control device (300) located within the tail cone between the structural support housing and the tail cone, wherein the temperature control device is in thermal communication with at least one of the structural support housing and the tail cone.


 
2. The electric generation system of claim 1, wherein the temperature control device further comprises:
one or more coolant conveying tubes (310).
 
3. The electric generation system of claim 2, wherein the one or more coolant conveying tubes are arranged circumferentially around the structural support housing.
 
4. The electric generation system of claim 2, wherein the one or more coolant conveying tubes are arranged linearly along the structural support housing.
 
5. The electric generation system of claim 2, 3 or 4 further comprising:

a coolant circuit (432) fluidly connected to the one or more coolant conveying tubes; and

a heat rejection heat exchanger (434) fluidly connected to the one or more coolant conveying tubes through the coolant circuit.


 
6. The electric generation system of claim 2, 3, 4 or 5, wherein the temperature control device is configured to restrict heat transfer through the temperature control device between the structural support housing and the tail cone.
 
7. The electric generation system of claim 6, wherein the temperature control device is an insulation blanket.
 
8. The electric generation system of any preceding claim, wherein the electric generator is configured to connect to a low speed spool of the gas turbine engine.
 
9. A gas turbine engine comprising:

a low pressure compressor (44);

a low pressure turbine (46);

a low speed spool (30) interconnecting the low pressure compressor and the low pressure turbine; and

an electric generation system (80) as claimed in any preceding claim, the electric generator being operably connected to the low speed spool.


 




Drawing