Experimental investigation into the fault response of superconducting hybrid electric propulsion electrical power system to a DC rail to rail fault

S. Nolan, C.E. Jones, R. Munro, P. Norman, S. Galloway, S. Venuturumilli, J. Sheng, W. Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Contributionpeer-review

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Hybrid electric propulsion aircraft are proposed to improve overall aircraft efficiency, enabling future rising demands for air travel to be met. The development of appropriate electrical power systems to provide thrust for the aircraft is a significant challenge due to the much higher required power generation capacity levels and complexity of the aero-electrical power systems (AEPS). The efficiency and weight of the AEPS is critical to ensure that the benefits of hybrid propulsion are not mitigated by the electrical power train. Hence it is proposed that for larger aircraft (~200 passengers) superconducting power systems are used to meet target power densities. Central to the design of the hybrid propulsion AEPS is a robust and reliable electrical protection and fault management system. It is known from previous studies that the choice of protection system may have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the AEPS. Hence an informed design process which considers the key trades between choice of cable and protection requirements is needed. To date the fault response of a voltage source converter interfaced DC link rail to rail fault in a superconducting power system has only been investigated using simulation models validated by theoretical values from the literature. This paper will present the experimentally obtained fault response for a variety of different types of superconducting tape for a rail to rail DC fault. The paper will then use these as a platform to identify key trades between protection requirements and cable design, providing guidelines to enable future informed decisions to optimise hybrid propulsion electrical power system and protection design.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012014
Number of pages8
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2017
EventJoint Cryogenic Engineering Conference & International Cryogenic Materials Conference - Madona Terrace, Madison, WI., United States
Duration: 9 Jul 201713 Nov 2017


  • superconducting DC networks
  • turbo-electric distributed propulsion (TeDP)
  • electrical protection systems


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