Flux-Switching Machine Based All-Electric Power Train for Future Aircraft
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Power density and efficiency are crucial to electric propulsion for future aviation systems. The University of California, Santa Cruz proposes a novel all-electric power train. Each aspect of the proposed power train encompasses unique technology. The machinery relies on a flux-switching motor with high temperature superconducting field coils, which is smaller and lighter than conventional designs and has an immense advantage in terms of thermal management. The electronics are based on state-of-the-art silicon carbide-based multilevel inverter technology, which can easily interface to a medium-voltage power supply and lower electromagnetic noise and insulation stress on the motor. Preliminary designs using wide-bandgap semiconductor devices indicate that the necessary power density can be achieved. An innovative cryogenic system using solid or slushed coolant will cool stationary high-temperature superconductor field coils at 60K. Traditional air cooling will be used for the drive.
The ASCEND program has the potential to accelerate innovations and cause disruptive changes in the emerging electric aviation field.
The program will further enhance U.S. technology dominance in the field of high-performance electric motors for hybrid electric aviation. Electrified aircraft architectures can increase reliability by increasing redundancy.