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Protection system considerations for DC distributed electrical propulsion systems

Jones, C. E. and Davies, K. and Norman, P. and Galloway, S. and Burt, G. and Armstrong, M. and Bollman, A. (2015) Protection system considerations for DC distributed electrical propulsion systems. In: SAE Aerotech Congress and Exhibition, 2015-09-21 - 2015-09-24.

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Abstract

Distributed electrical propulsion for aircraft, also known as turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP), will require a complex electrical power system which can deliver power to multiple propulsor motors from gas turbine driven generators. To ensure that high enough power densities are reached, it has been proposed that such power systems are superconducting. Key to the development of these systems is the understanding of how faults propagate in the network, which enables possible protection strategies to be considered and following that, the development of an appropriate protection strategy to enable a robust electrical power system with fault ride-through capability. This paper investigates possible DC protection strategies for a radial DC architecture for a TeDP power system, in terms of their ability to respond appropriately to a DC fault and their impact on overall system weight and efficiency. This latter aspect has already been shown to be critical to shaping the overall TeDP concept competitiveness.