MS student Shivang with Advisor A. Banerjee

Turboelectric propulsion uses no batteries for propulsive energy during any phase of flight (unlike hybrid and all-electric systems) and is considered a critical enabler for low-carbon emissions in the aircraft industry. As batteries with high enough power capacity and the specific power required for commercial aircraft are unlikely to be developed within the next 30 years, turboelectric systems are the only feasible option.
Brushless doubly-fed reluctance machines (BDFRM) are an attractive motor for driving the distributed propeller fans, because they use a partially rated power converter and have brushless operation and low rotor losses. Our research focuses on designing the BDFRM and drive required for this megawatt-class application. A switched-drive architecture, as shown in Figure 3, reconfigures one of the stators on the fly, enabling wide-speed range operation while preserving the benefit of fractionally rated power electronics. The research is supported by Grainger Center for Electric Machinery and Electromechanics.

Shivang Brushless double-fed reluctance machine for turboelectric distributed propulsion system

Figure 3. Architecture of switched brushless doubly-fed reluctance machine drive. The primary stator is connected to the ac supply in high-speed, high-power mode and to the dc source in low-speed, low-power mode.