MDO Framework for Design of Human PoweredPropellers using Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm
This thesis showcases the challenges, downsides and advantages to building a MultiDisciplinary Optimization (MDO) framework to automate the generation of an efficientpropeller design built for lightly loaded operation, more specifically for humanpowered aircrafts. Two years ago, a human powered aircraft project was initiatedat Linköping University. With the help of several courses, various students performedconceptional design, calculated and finally manufactured a propeller bymeans of various materials and manufacturing techniques. The performance ofthe current propeller is utilized for benchmarking and comparing results obtainedby the MDO process.The developed MDO framework is constructed as a modeFRONITER project wereseveral Computer Aided Engineering softwares (CAE) such as MATLAB, CATIAand XFOIL are connected to perform multiple consequent optimization subprocesses.The user is presented with several design constraints such as blade quantity,required input power, segment-wise airfoil thickness, desired lift coefficientetc. Also, 6 global search optimization algorithms are investigated to determinethe one which generate most efficient result according to several set standards.The optimization process is thereafter initialized by identifying the most efficientchord distribution with a help of an initial blade cross-section which has been previouslyused in other human powered propellers, the findings are thereafter usedto determine the flow conditions at different propeller stations. Two different aerodynamicoptimized shapes are generated with the help of consecutively performedsubprocesses. The optimized propeller requires 7.5 W less input power to generatenearly equivalent thrust as the original propeller with a total efficiency exceedingthe 90 % mark (90.25 %). Moreover, the MDO framework include an automationprocess to generate a CAD design of the optimized propeller. The generatedCAD file illustrates a individual surface blade decrease of 12.5 % compared tothe original design, the lightweight design and lower input power yield an overallpropulsion system which is less tedious to operate.
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