Rolls-Royce completes testing of latest E3E engine core

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has successfully completed testing of the latest build of its new two-shaft engine core, known as Core 3/2d. The tests, which are part of the E3E (efficiency, environment, economy) research programme, were carried out in the altitude test facility at Stuttgart University.

Tests included operation of a lean burn combustion system in simulated bad weather during which Core 3/2d operated safely and successfully performed windmill re-lights in conditions equivalent to a tropical hailstorm. Emission and performance measurements and functional tests were also carried out.

Dr Karsten Mühlenfeld, Rolls-Royce, Director Corporate and Engineering, Germany said: “These 40 hours of testing are another step forward in our continued work to develop environmentally friendly technologies. These technologies will enable future Rolls-Royce engines to contribute significantly to the goal of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) of reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 per cent by 2020.”

Technology developed as part of the E3E programme forms the basis of the Rolls-Royce Advance2 future two-shaft engine programme, designed to reduce fuel-burn by 15 per cent, compared to similar engines currently in service. E3E lean burn combustion technology will also make a significant contribution towards meeting future emissions targets.

Dr Holger Klinger, Rolls-Royce, Chief Project Engineer Technology Programmes, Germany said: “The innovative combustor exceeded all expectations in terms of NOx reduction and engine stability under adverse operational conditions. Core 3/2d achieved emissions levels up to 60 per cent lower than current CAEP6 regulations.”

The experiments are the last in a sequence of successful test campaigns, which began in 2008, and confirm the improved efficiencies offered by the all new E3E Core configuration.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, and has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in more than 80 countries.
  3. Annual underlying revenue was £11.3 billion in 2011, of which more than half came from the provision of services. The firm and announced order book stood at £60.1 billion at 30 June 2012, providing visibility of future levels of activity.
  4. Rolls-Royce employs over 40,000 people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in over 50 countries. Over 11,000 of these employees are engineers.
  5. In 2011, Rolls-Royce invested £908 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental performance of its products, in particular reducing emissions.
  6. Rolls-Royce supports a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which connect the company’s engineers with the forefront of scientific research.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills.
  8. E3E is part of the German Aeronautics Research Programme, funded by the Ministry of Economics and the Federal State of Brandenburg.
  9. E3E technology includes: a two-stage shroudless HP turbine incorporating advanced 3D aerodynamics and blade cooling technology; a novel tip clearance control system with advanced ceramic abradable linings to improve turbine efficiency and increase performance retention; a lean burn combustion system; a 9-stage HP compressor with 6 blisk stages which has successfully demonstrated a 22:1 pressure ratio, with worldclass levels of efficiency and validated surge margin capability; and an innovative air system for bearing load management and improved cooling using novel sealing technologies.

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