Pyrofuse modeling for eVTOL aircraft DC protection

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Contemporary trends are leading towards the electrification of aircraft for urban mobility applications. Accordingly, there is a high demand for advancements in light-weight, high voltage technologies to realize these new aircraft types. Driven by recent developments in the automotive industry, hybrid Pyrofuse protection devices have emerged as one such new candidate technology. Pyrofuses offer rapid clearance of fault currents, reduced cost and weight when compared to conventional mechanical breakers. In addition, Pyrofuses have the ability to tune the time-current curve to fit the application's fault response characteristics. However, Pyrofuses are non-resettable devices whose exclusive use for electrical protection could present potential operational hazards and certification challenges in aerospace applications. Model-based analysis will be critical in supporting this evaluation. Accordingly, this paper offers the first complete design methodology to transiently model Pyrofuse operation in MATLAB/Simulink, drawing characteristics from commercially available datasheets. This model is then utilized to undertake an initial protection coordination feasibility study for a candidate eVTOL electrical system architecture, exploring the associated device and system level operational capabilities and limitations. In particular, the results show that the Pyrofuse can offer a good degree of nuisance-tripping resilience against transient events whilst providing quick clearance of short circuit faults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2021-01-0041
Number of pages7
JournalSAE Technical Papers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021
EventSAE 2021 AeroTech Digital Summit, AEROTECH 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 9 Mar 202111 Mar 2021


  • pyrofuse modeling
  • electrical aircraft
  • computer simulation
  • vertical take-off and landing


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