Skip to main content

Advanced Smart-grid Power dIstRibution systEm

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ASPIRE (Advanced Smart-grid Power dIstRibution systEm)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

The Aspire project focus is on the development and implementation of the Enhanced Electrical Energy Management (E2-EM) concept for future aircraft Electrical Power System (EPS). This enhanced methodology will result in a significant reduction in the required overload capability of the main generation systems, thus reducing the weight and volume of the EPS as a whole. This Project will develop an innovative strategy for a highly distributed, modular and flexible smart-grid Electric Power Distribution System (EPDS) in addition to designing and constructing a novel DC/DC converter as a core element (cell) of this smart-grid.
ASPIRE will deliver the smart grid converter technology for Regional Aircraft as required by the Regional Aircraft IADP in Clean Sky 2. The proposed technology, based on Enhanced Electrical Energy Management is a key element in enabling the next wave of technology integration for More Electric Aircraft. The ASPIRE project work will contribute to the achievement of the strategic goals of the Clean Sky Joint Technical Programme. The technological, environmental and industrial impact of ASPIRE and the importance to the society are summarised as:
• ASPIRE will contribute to the delivery of the Regional Aircraft Electrical Ground Demonstrator (Iron Bird) by providing the electrical grid that is central to operating the various electrical systems on the demonstrator.
• ASPIRE will enable the Regional Aircraft IADP Leaders to realise the Energy Optimised Regional Aircraft using the grid technology as the backbone for the More Electric Aircraft, which will enable heavy mechanical systems to be replaced by lighter electrical ones and therefore reduce CO2 emissions by 3%
• The Energy Optimised Regional Aircraft will deliver industrial leadership due to the world leading technologies that will be integrated into the overall aircraft platform. The electrical architecture of the aircraft will have the ASPIRE smart grid conversion technology at its heart.
• The flexible and adaptive technology proposed in ASPIRE will make the Energy Optimised Regional Aircraft more reliable due to the smart architecture being developed. In turn, this means that the aircraft will experience less down time and will be able to operate with less flight delays and more reliable scheduling enabling seamless mobility for passengers.
The ASPIRE project aims to enable a step change in the design and development of future aircraft electrical power systems by making them “smart” and more efficient hence contributing towards more efficient, greener aviation. ASPIRE will focus on the design, development and manufacturing of an innovative DC/DC cellular converter with automatic inversion functionality. This will be a key component in the creation and demonstration of an advanced Electrical Power Distribution System (EPDS) with impeded E2-EM capability. The ASPIRE final product is a multicellular DC/DC converter with decentralised supervisor and advanced energy management strategy to enable the implementation of the “smart” EPDS concept to regional aircraft.
ASPIRE work activities focus on the design, development and manufacturing of an innovative bidirectional DC/DC cellular converter with impeded E2-EM capability and a supervisor control based on CAN communication. This will be a key component in the creation and demonstration of an advanced Electrical Power Distribution System (EPDS) to enable the implementation of the “smart” EPDS concept for future regional aircraft
The ASPIRE work started by the initial studies and requirements analysis and definition of the project. The understanding of both EPDS, converter, energy management and supervisor requirements and specifications are improved and this is followed by trade-off studies considering a number of different converter topologies candidates and potential energy management design methodologies.
Converter modelling and simulation suitable for control performance and energy management evaluation are performed. Functional and behavioural level models are developed in Matlab and PLECS software. This is to support the cellular DC/DC converter design and associated control as well as testing the smart grid concept. The models developed are used for establishing key converter performances and transient behaviour for investigations of EPDS-level effects (power flow, voltage control quality, stability etc). The models include a thermal layer to investigate and verify the design of the thermal management system.
ASPIRE will deliver a number of ground breaking achievements beyond state-of-the-art to enable successful development of novel EPDS concept by delivery an innovative cellular DC/DC converter with on-fly change of operational mode (buck/boost) compatible with smart-grid concept. The project will also develop a supervision strategy and corresponding algorithms to introduce to the aircraft EPDS an enhanced energy management (E2-EM). This will pave the road towards more efficient, greener aviation.
Efficient and compact power electronic converter design: This work will result in development of methodology for minimisation of converter losses and size/weight using a modelling and automated minimisation approach based on topologies and component parameters. The converter circuit will be developed and designed using the emerging wide bang gap technology semiconductors devises.
Converter Control Optimised for losses: Development of advanced soft-switching algorithms to minimise losses.
DC/DC converter modelling: Development of new models according to converter topologies, unique advanced local and global (supervisor) controls for accurate modelling of individual cells and multi-cell converter with minimisation of computational demands (functional and behavioural models)
Fast and versatile supervisor: Supervisor design methodology considering changes in the system priorities and changes in the grid configuration based on rigorous mathematical solutions with adaptable priority tables. The optimisation method will ensure a fast supervisor response.
Smart grid reliability: ASPIRE will provide reliable supervisor operation by developing a novel approach that considers supervisor activity as a single process in a distributed form. A full redundant system to increase the overall reliability will be addressed.
Manufacturing of compact, high power density converters:The modular, scalable, flexible and reliable circuit topology of the developed ASPIRE system will lead to reduced weight and volume by means of advanced technology for power devices and new materials for thermal and mechanical components. The main result will be an increased power density of the ASPIRE converter cell.
ASPIRE will deliver the smart grid converter technology for Regional Aircraft as required by the Regional Aircraft IADP in Clean Sky 2. The proposed technology, based on Enhanced Electrical Energy Management is a key element in enabling the next wave of technology integration for More Electric Aircraft.