Intelligent Thermal Networks (iTherNet)


Development of a thermal management systems for (hybrid) electrical aircraft


The project is being worked on by the institutes of Electrical Power and Energy Technology, Aircraft Systems Engineering and Engineering Thermodynamics at the TUHH. The coordinator is the Institute for Electrical Power Engineering. Furthermore, the project is in cooperation with Airbus and DLR.

Project Duration

The project started on 1.10.2020 and will end on 31.12.2023.


Current studies and projects on (hybrid) electrical flight are often highly focused on electrical components (generation, transmission and storage of electric energy) and the powertrain. The aspect of thermal loads, which are much higher than in conventional aircraft architectures, are often insufficiently considered. Regardless the type and configuration of the powertrain, power generation and distribution, e.g. whether fully electrical/ hybrid or in series/ parallel, the use, distribution and conversion of larger amounts of electrical energy results in a higher cooling requirement. Especially when using fuel cells and aggregates as a drive method the cooling and the thermal management are critical factors for operation and the reliability, since there is a very high heat load that has to be dissipated.

Technical Aims

  • Conception and validation of a methodology for the rule-based exploration of the architectural space for cooling resulting from new requirements and combinations of systems and cooling technologies
  • Evaluation of new cooling technologies for (hybrid) electric aircraft architectures
  • Creation of suitable control strategies and optimized operating concepts
  • Creation of a digital mock-up platform including model landscapes to support the development of future (hybrid) electric aircraft based on models of different detail levels from concept phase of architectures to validation of control strategies