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Understanding the impact of failure modes of cables for the design of turbo-electric distributed propulsion electrical power systems.

Nolan, S. and Jones, C.E. and Norman, P.J. and Galloway, S.J. (2016) Understanding the impact of failure modes of cables for the design of turbo-electric distributed propulsion electrical power systems. In: Electrical Systems for Aircraft, Railway, Ship propulsion and Road Vehicles & International Transportation Electrification Conference, 2016-11-02 - 2016-11-04. (In Press)

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The turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP) concept has been proposed to enable future aircraft to meet ambitious, environmental targets as demand for air travel increases. In order to maximize the benefits of TeDP, the use of high temperature superconductors (HTS) has been proposed. Despite being an enabling technology for many future concepts, the use of superconductors in electrical power systems is still in the early stages of development. Hence their impact on system performance, in particular system transients, such as electrical faults or load changes, is poorly understood. Such an understanding is critical for the development of an appropriate electrical protection system for TeDP. Therefore, in order to enable appropriate protection strategies to be developed for TeDP electrical networks an understanding of how electrical faults will propagate in superconducting materials is required. An understanding of how technologies that utilize these materials may experience failure modes in ways that are uncharacteristic of their conventional counterparts is also needed. This paper presents a dynamic electrical – thermal model of a superconducting cable, at an appropriate level of fidelity for electrical power system studies, which enables the investigation of failure modes of cables. This includes the impact of designing fault tolerant cables on the electrical power system as a whole to be considered.