Aircraft Engines are normally assisted by a number of complementary systems that have to guarantee performance throughout the whole flight envelope of the aircrafts for which they are designed. Among these systems Oil lubrication and heat management system is the most important due to its roles:
1. Remove the heat generated in the highly loaded rolling bearings and the gears found in the Engine power and accessory gearboxes
2. Lubricate bearing and Power and Accessory gear boxes.
The current trend of developing aircraft engines that consume less fuel put a lot of pressure on the oil lubrication system cooling requirements due to higher speeds, loads and temperatures in engines. This is much more true for Very High By-pass Engines due to the integration of high-power gearboxes (allowing high by-pass ratio) and high-power starter-generators.
For this reason Engine manufacturer are deeply looking to innovative design for oil lubrication and heat management system implementing architectures that are able to meet the new cooling and lubricating requirements without negatively impacting the Engine weight or operational and maintenance costs.
DEVILS – Development of intelligent oil system enablers for large VHBR engine oil lubrication and heat management systems – in the framework of CleanSky2 program (topic leader Rolls-Royce): The overall objective of project DEVILS Project is to research, develop and validate the robustness of a new variable oil flow approach towards the design of an innovative variable flow oil pump to be integrated in a high performance aircraft lubrication systems architecture with the aim of reducing fuel and oil consumption.
Objective of DEVILS project is as well to research, implement and validate smart fault detection and health monitoring algorithms to assist the system in reducing oil low flow rate needs and prognostic functions.
The project intends to reach this objective by focusing on the following key goals:
- Reduce the oil quantity necessary for Engine lubrication up to 60%, thus reducing both, the consumption of oil which is a non-renewable energy and the associated atmospheric pollution (currently 0.3 l/h average oil consumption per engine for a short-haul or a long-haul aircraft); through introduction of an innovative variable flow supply pump capability.
- Develop innovative fault detection and health monitoring solutions to improve the monitoring of engine oil lubrication system. This will allow more accurate oil flow, temperature and pressure regulation and the implementation of prognostic function helping reducing operational and maintenance cost (25%)
- Optimise the architecture of the lubrication systems, taking into account the introduction of high performance heat exchangers and by reducing component complexity and mass thus contributing to reduce Engine SFC and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.