Team 1420 Members:
Isaiah Bruno, mechanical engineering
Ivy Hasman, materials science and engineering
Jose Luttmann, mechanical engineering
Michel Mora, mechanical engineering
The team advanced development of a new type of electromechanical shaft to disconnect an aircraft generator from engine output in the event of an electrical short or bearing failure.
Aircraft generators are driven by the engines and help provide electrical power. The problem with current disconnect mechanisms is that they can result in irreparable and costly generator damage.
“What they have between the aircraft engine and the generator is a called a shear point,” explained team member Ivy Hasman. “The shear point breaks apart the shaft, so that the engine is still spinning with the generator disengaged, but now there is still a broken shaft.”
The new electromechanical shaft disconnect allows the engine to continue providing power to the aircraft without further damaging the generator.
“The purpose is to save the entire generator from complete failure,” said team member Jose Luttmann. He added, “We were limited in what we could do, but we’re pretty confident that the device will work on a large-scale model.”
Honeywell, which sponsored the project, is considering the design for future use.