Voltage based current compensation converter control for power electronic interfaced distribution networks in future aircraft

Nolan, Steven and Jones, Catherine E. and Pena Alzola, Rafael and Norman, Patrick J. and Burt, Graeme and Miller, Paul and Husband, Mark (2020) Voltage based current compensation converter control for power electronic interfaced distribution networks in future aircraft. IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification. ISSN 2332-7782

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    Abstract

    Superconductors have a potential application in future turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP) aircraft and present significant new challenges for protection system design. Electrical faults and cooling system failures can lead to temperature rises within a superconducting distribution network which necessitate a reduction or temporary curtailment of current to loads to prevent thermal runaway occurring within the cables. This scenario is undesirable in TeDP aircraft applications where the loads may be flight-critical propulsion motors. This paper proposes a power management and control method which exploits the fast acting measurement and response capabilities of the power electronic interfaces within the distribution network to maximise current supply to critical loads, reducing the impact of a temperature rise event in the superconducting distribution network. This new algorithm uses the detection of a resistive voltage in combination with a model-based controller that estimates the operating temperature of the affected superconducting cable to adapt the output current limit of the associated power electronic converter. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this method and its impact on wider system stability, the algorithm is applied to a simulated voltage-source converter supplied aircraft DC superconducting distribution network with representative propulsion motor loads.