The University of Auckland

Project #15: Power Systems Specification Study of the Integration of Electric Aircraft in New Zealand



New Zealand is well placed to exploit advances in Electric Aviation due to the scale of regional operations and New Zealand’s renewable electricity supply. Air New Zealand for example, is prioritising electric technology as a key part of its strategy. The requirements of electric aircraft differ to that of an electric vehicle (cars, trucks etc), highlighting the importance of this study. The scope of this project is restricted to New Zealand power systems infrastructure and potential domestic electric aircraft being integrated into the New Zealand aviation system within the next 10 years.

An electric aircraft’s design in 10 years’ time is unknown due to the rapid pace of technology development and potential design certification issues. It could be radically different to a commercial aircraft we see today (e.g. eVTOL - vertical take-off vehicles).  Although the future of the aircraft’s design is unclear, electric power systems engineering behind its integration to the regional fleet in New Zealand will be critical in any case, and fundamental to achieving timely implementation of new aircraft types.

This research proposal will provide a comprehensive power systems study specification including an outline of electric aircraft requirements, a power flow study and long-term optimisation goals of generation and distribution.


As identified by UOA

-          Literature review

-          Statement of research intent

-          Project Report

-          Presentation (Seminar PowerPoint)

-          Research Compendium


Areas of Research

-          Semester 1 (Aircraft Specifications)

o   Outline requirements of Electric Aircraft

§  Aircraft Power Specifications (Ethan)

·       Motor (RPM, power density)

·       Batteries (power density)

·       General Power Consumption

§  Aerodrome Infrastructure Analysis (Giacomo)

·       Existing (Auckland Airport)

·       Required

o   Charging requirements

o   Aerodrome design

o   Charging stations

-          Semester 2 (Power Systems Study)

o   Power flow/load flow study (Ethan)

§  Using Simulink or other suitable modelling software

o   NZ Grid Infrastructure Analysis (Giacomo)

§  Generation and Distribution

·       Intention to obtain real world data

·       Medium to long term goals

o   Transpower

o   Vector/Mercury









Lab allocations have not been finalised