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Solid state circuit breakers enabling optimised protection of DC aircraft power systems

Fletcher, Steven and Norman, Patrick and Galloway, Stuart and Burt, Graeme (2011) Solid state circuit breakers enabling optimised protection of DC aircraft power systems. In: Proceedings of the 2011 14th European Conference on Power Electronics and Applications. IEEE, Piscataway, New Jersey. ISBN 9781612841670

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Greater utilisation of DC power distribution within aircraft systems is still largely prevented by the significant challenge of developing lightweight, effective DC protection systems. By considering circuit breaker, fault detection and power network design aspects, this paper proposes new performance criteria for optimised protection of DC aircraft power systems and discusses the resulting system level design and operability benefits which can be attained. Through the analysis and simulation of a representative DC aircraft electrical system, fast acting fault detection and solid state circuit breaker technologies are identified as being critical to this scheme. This paper then presents analysis to help assess the impact of successfully implementing this protection scheme on the circuit breaker’s design and operation requirements.