Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS


ARCANGEL-ALPHA Berichtzusammenfassung

Project ID: 270598
Gefördert unter: FP7-JTI
Land: United Kingdom


Executive Summary:
Eaton is the world leader in arc fault protection technologies. The Cleansky Arcing and Next Generation Airplane Power Hazard Abatement project provided an opportunity to investigate and develop techniques applicable to the new high power aircraft circuits. This project enabled extensive testing to characterize arcs from both Alternating Current (230VAC) and Direct Current (270-540VDC) sources. An opportunity was also taken to ‘cross reference’ computer modelling techniques with actual testing. Arc recognition algorithms were developed and integrated into two demonstrator units. Testing was also conducted to establish the ability of the algorithms to accept electrical loads working under normal conditions as benign. The demonstrator units were supplied to the Cleansky Joint Undertaking following internal validation and initial integration with a new Power Distribution System.

Project Context and Objectives:
State of the art – Background

New aircraft designs are implementing 230 volt variable frequency AC and 270-540 volt DC electrical power systems to enable the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) concepts. The risk of high energy faults and electrical hazards in these higher voltage systems is increased, thus
the ability to detect and isolate electrical faults is critical to the MEA.
Eaton is the world leader in arc fault protection technologies with over 100 related patents, over
250,000 recorded flight hours with Eaton arc fault protection components. Eaton is the only manufacturer qualified to the SAE AS5692 General Specification for Arc Fault Circuit Breakers.
The conventional 120VAC 400Hz aircraft electrical bus is evolving to a variable frequency system to allow elimination of the complex and heavy constant velocity gearbox generator drives from the engines. While this reduces the weight and
maintenance burdens, it does not improve the ability to efficiently distribute power over the fixed frequency system. New designs from Airbus and Boeing are beginning to implement 230 volt variable frequency AC and 270-540 volt DC electrical power distribution systems to enable the MEA concepts.


Eaton objectives were to develop arc fault detection modules for 270-540VDC and 230VAC aircraft systems. The characterization of arcing faults through computer modelling, empirical testing and data acquisition of fault voltage and current signatures forming a significant part of the project activity. Arc fault test procedures and apparatus were planned to be designed so as to replicate arcing faults representative of what could occur in an actual aircraft.
The ability of the algorithm design to resist ‘Nuisance tripping’ was planned to be assessed against existing electrical loads.
Arc detection algorithms development was planned using computer based analysis and modelling. The project included the building of Arc fault detection modules to implement the algorithms. These prototype modules were planned to be integrated into a power distribution system.
Finally, the Eaton team planned provided technical support for the field testing and verification of the integrated AFD/switching device solution.

Project Results:
This project allowed Eaton to extend the existing R&D for aerospace experience in the development of numerous Arc Fault Detection Circuit Breaker (AFCB) designs for 120VAC 400Hz (single and 3- phase) and 28VDC aircraft power distribution. Therefore foreground techniques were developed in the collection of arc characteristics at the higher voltage levels (270-540VDC and 230VAC). Foreground algorithms were developed to recognise the arcs and new demonstrator arc detection modules were produced.

Potential Impact:
This project supported both safer and greener operations by facilitating the reduction of electrical fires and the reduction in the weight of electrical installations.
The development of 540VDC and 230VAC Arc Fault Circuit Interruption (AFCI) technology will facilitate the development of an integrated electrical power distribution system by providing the required high voltage switching components with the technology to reduce the incidence and severity of damage, fires, and electrical defects caused by aging wire insulation that risks aircraft/crew safety. The use of these higher voltage systems will potentially reduce the aircraft weight and fuel consumption. By using higher voltages, current can be significantly reduced whilst still providing the same power and significantly reducing the weight of the wiring as smaller gauge wire is used.

List of Websites:
The relevant technical contacts are:
Chaitanya Bhalwankar:

Steve Schmalz:

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Ergebnis in Kürze

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Reported by

Eaton Aerospace Limited
United Kingdom
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