This paper describes the system design of an electric motor-driven fuel pump system for the MEE (More Electric Engine). The MEE is a new aircraft engine system concept which will reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and improve engine safety, reliability and maintainability. At the initial concept design stage of the MEE, a feasibility study indicated that the electric fuel pump system helped improve engine efficiency. The selected fuel pump system configuration for the MEE was a fixed displacement gear pump system, the speed of which is controlled by an electric motor. Simplification of the fuel system will be expected because the electric gear pump itself is used as a metering device, but there are several technical challenges which should be overcome to realize the system.
One of the technical challenges involves ensuring fuel metering accuracy via motor speed control. To address the issue, studies of the fuel flow rate feedback system were performed. A novel flow feedback system was investigated and the potential to ensure metering accuracy was confirmed.
The other technical challenge is the wide speed range operation of the gear pump system. If only a single electric gear pump is used in the MEE system, the pump should accommodate a speed range of 5 to 100% because the ground starting flow rate is about 5% of the maximum flow. Operation at such low speeds is significantly harsh for the LP pump pressurizing capability and bearing film lubrication. However, optimized pump performance and operational condition were established, and it is expected that a single pump system, in which both LP and HP pumps are directly motor-driven via a single shaft, can be constructed. In addition, there is a technical challenge involved in supplying electrical power to the pump motor during the windmill engine start-up.
The system design focused on the above technical challenges, and the consequent feasibility of the simplified MEE fuel pump system construction was confirmed.