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Smart Converters for Optimized Power Usage and Storage

Project description

Smart power converters for electric aircraft

Next-generation aircraft are being designed to run on a more electrical architecture – systems that are normally powered by hydraulics or pneumatics will be replaced by electrical versions. Airplane manufacturers are working on the development of battery, fuel cell or supercapacitor power supplies to reduce their emissions and curb fossil fuel use. DC-to-DC converters are important electronic components in electric power supply systems. These integral links in the power chain move and process power from aircraft engine electrical generators. The EU-funded project SCOPUS will design a smart compact DC-to-DC converter that will be more efficient and have a higher power density compared to state-of-the-art devices. The new modular device will ensure safe and reliable operation of next-generation electrical systems.


The development and implementation of advanced technologies which allow for energy efficient solutions with reduced environmental impact is of extreme importance. In the aviation sector long-term roadmaps, such as ACARE Flightpath 2050, set specific goals such as 75% reduction of CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometre and 90% reduction of NOX.

Achievement of these strategic goals requires that new thermal and mechanical concepts and architectures are developed for power units. In order to make new architectures attractive, the power density and the modularity of the power sub-systems (especially DC/DC converters) must be pushed to the highest level. This can be achieved today taking advantage from the availability of new switching devices and technologies.

Integration of mechanical systems with power electronics, so called “mechatronics”, can help in achieving such stringent objectives, especially in case of simultaneous presence of primary (e.g. generator) and secondary (e.g. batteries, supercapacitors) electrical power sources.

In such scenario it is possible to implement “energy management” strategies that can optimize the global electrical power consumptions of the aircraft loads, obtaining additional weight benefits. In this context, the role of the DC/DC converters is of fundamental importance to achieve the required degree of hybridization on-board. DC/DC converters are essential bridges between the secondary DC voltage bus (evolving toward higher voltage implementations) and the power storage elements (usually low voltage) whose main purpose is to store or provide electrical energy depending on the specific flight conditions.

Project SCOPUS will provide a smart compact bidirectional modular DC/DC converter for aeronautic applications in the context of an hybrid electric aircraft, which main features are: Modularity and Safety, Energy Management, above the state-of-the-art Power Density.


Net EU contribution
€ 346 969,00
20832 Desio

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Nord-Ovest Lombardia Monza e della Brianza
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 495 670,00

Participants (2)