Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FUSES 2014 — Result In Brief

Project ID: 641336
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: France
Domain: Transport

Novel fuse technology for electric aircraft

Fuses are integral devices to the protection of electrical equipment in the event of overcurrent. Work on an EU-funded project led to the development of a new generation of electronic devices with much better performance compared to the state of the art.
Novel fuse technology for electric aircraft
Fuses are one of the most common active electronic devices employed in electrical power distribution systems that reduce response time and simplify driving. Fuses break their circuit by melting when a certain amount of current goes through. For reliable performance, large ones utilise conductive elements made of silicon.

The EU-funded project FUSES 2014 (Current limiting device to address DC aeronautics power distribution systems) unveiled an innovative solution exploiting silicon carbide as a semiconductor, which has superior performance compared to conventional fuses or current limiters.

Researchers adapted the existing Mersen’s fuse system technology to develop a new fuse in accordance with aircraft specifications. In parallel, the team developed a silicon carbide current limiter based on field effect transistor technology. The innovative part of FUSES lies in the association of these two devices to build a hybrid current limiter solution.

The project’s hybrid solution is based on fuse and pyroswitch components. The conduction path established by the pyroswitch and the clearing path established by the fuse combine to bring the best of both worlds: low voltage drop, high inrush current, high cycling performance and fast cutting of the busbar. Moreover, the fuse presents an excellent capacity to clear high DC current.

FUSES 2014’s hybrid device was designed to provide short-circuit and overload protection, well suited to more electrical aircraft. In addition, it can also find application in electric vehicles and smart grids.

Related information


Fuse, electric aircraft, power distribution, FUSES 2014, silicon carbide, current limiter
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