Analysing faults and SFCL response in electric aircraft

H Alafnan, X Zeng, X Pei, M Khedr, M Zhang, W Yuan

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Aircraft technology moves towards electrification in order to achieve environmentally friendly goals. However, one of the main challenges facing the electrification of aircraft technology is the weight of the electric devices necessary for operating a fully electric aircraft. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) proposed the use of the superconductive technology in electric aircraft (EA) to overcome this challenge in addition to its other benefits. The proposed EA is called N3-X and it has an on-board DC superconducting network including a superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL). The SFCL is a self-mechanism device that very effectively limits the current within a few milliseconds, thus improving the stability of the system. As the grounding of this network is different from traditional networks, analysing the behaviour of different fault types and how to manage them becomes critical. In this paper, one set of the EA's systems (one generator, AC/DC rectifier and four motors with their DC/AC variable frequency drives) has been modelled in MATLAB/Simulink environment to carry out the fault analysis and to demonstrate the effect of the SFCL on this network under different types of faults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012103
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020
Event14th European Conference on Applied Superconductivity, EUCAS 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20195 Sep 2019


  • aircraft technology
  • electric aircraft
  • NASA
  • superconducting fault current limiter

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