Rolls-Royce Set To Begin Hybrid-Electric Power Tests

The PGS1 demonstrator targets follow-on hybrid-electric regional power systems.
Credit: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is preparing to begin ground runs of a 2.5 megawatt hybrid-electric engine on a testbed in Bristol, England, following delivery of the generator and associated power electronics from the company’s facility in Trondheim, Norway.

The generator and 3,000-volt power electronics system form the final key elements of Rolls-Royce’s Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator, which is designed to pave the way for future hybrid-electric regional propulsion system development. The generator joins other elements of the hybrid system, including the AE2100 gas generator, controls and thermal management, all of which have already been integrated into the testbed.

Described by Rolls as the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace, PGS1 will be used primarily to prove the peak generating capability of the engine as well as validate the digital modeling used in its development. “On completion of testing, we will have a basis for megawatt-level power for future hybrid aircraft,” said Adam Newman, chief design engineer of the company’s Aviation Futures unit.

Work on PGS1 and Testbed 108, the renovated site used for the hybrid system evaluation, is supported by the UK Aerospace Technology Institute’s MegaFlight project. The electrical generator, motor and power electronics design, make and testing in Trondheim has been supported by the European Clean Sky 2 aerospace research program.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.