IEEE Electrification Magazine - December 2017 - 6

VIEWPOINT

80% of Single-Aisle Stages
50% of Emissions

20% of Single-Aisle Stages
50% of Emissions
Range sm

0

500

1,000

1,500

Series Hybrids to All Electrics
* Scale and Range Independent
* Low-to-Very-Low Operating Costs
* Very-Low-to-No Emissions

2,000

2,500

3,000

3,500

Parallel Hybrids and Turboelectrics
* Scale and Range Advantaged
* Lower Operating Costs
* Lower Emissions

Figure 2. Optimal architectures for aircraft electrification and their relative impact.

technical feasibility of electric propulsion for aircraft. Yet very few have
explored the regional commercial aircraft to any depth. Our development
for conventional or short takeoff indicates that power levels scale from
approximately 1 MW for ten to 15 passengers, 3-5 MW for 30-50 passengers,
and 17-20 MW for 100 passengers.
Power levels for vertical takeoff are
significantly higher, and they require

circuitry at higher voltages and frequencies, enabled by materials with
novel electrical and thermal properties.
Although commercial airplanes are
currently designed to standards developed by years of flight reliability data,
empirical performance data that is relevant for power levels and more typical electric-aircraft materials are much
more limited. It is, therefore, incumbent on the industry and technical

societies to spearhead initiatives to
extend the design standards. Furthermore, the scaling of aviation-grade
motors, controllers, and power management systems poses several challenges to aircraft designers, including
the following:
 power management and distribution
 operating efficiencies
 thermal management
 electromagnetic interference
(EMI)/electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
 aircraft integration.
Taking each in turn, a reliable,
autonomous electrical power management and distribution system will
need programmable, self-reconfigurable contactors and circuit breakers
to allow the safe, efficient operation
of bidirectional flow in charging and
discharging modes. A schematic for
such a system is shown in Figure 3
for an illustrative twin-propulsor
series hybrid electric aircraft. Driving

Generator

ac/dc

Turbogenerator Bus

Primary Bus

Motor
Controller

dc/dc

Primary Bus

dc/dc

Motor
Controller

Secondary Systems

Motor

Figure 3. An electric power management and distribution system for a twin-propulsor aircraft.

6

I E E E E l e c t r i f i cati o n M a gaz ine / DECEMBER 2017

Motor



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Electrification Magazine - December 2017

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