Improving Fuel Efficiency by 35% in Aircrafts with Impedance Heater Technology

Challenge

One of the world’s oldest and largest independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of control systems and control system components for aircraft engines, was working on a joint venture with a global digital industrial company to supply new valves for turbines used on next generation commercial aircraft. Valves needed to be put through a very rigorous, regulated testing process to be qualified for inclusion on commercial aircraft. This testing process required air to be heated up to 1550° F at 1000 Psi at a very high flow rate. The manufacturer spent two years trying to find a solution that would help them meet the stringent testing criteria. Finally, one of their engineers contacted Valin to see if we could help as they had a working relationship with us in the past.

Solution

Valin’s subject matter experts got to work researching specialty process heating systems that would fulfill the customer’s requirements. They decided that the Impedance Heater Technology was the best solution for the manufacturer’s testing needs. The complete system included a 1.4 megawatt heater and control panel. The heater weighed 58,000 pounds and required a 3000 Amp electrical service. Once the manufacturer’s engineers were convinced of the reliability of the heater, they had the confidence to convince their management team to spend almost 2 million dollars to secure the heater.

Valin’s team worked together to manage the project throughout the full drawing approval, shipping, and manufacturing cycle period. The process included multiple trips with the engineers to review specifications, designs, manufacturing progress and the final Factory Acceptance Test. From start to finish, the entire process from the first engineering discussion to the date of shipment was approximately 18 months.

Customer Benefits

Valin’s solution allowed the manufacturer to reliably test the new generation of valves at the temperature required to secure the proper approvals required by their customer. They were extremely happy with the result and their customer will be supplying the new generation of valves on the next generation aircraft. The end-customer was extremely pleased with this solution as it yielded their aircrafts with 35% more fuel efficiency; a significant improvement in the largest day to day expense for the airline industry.