Investigating Optimal Inverter Topologies for Electric Aviation Application
MS Student Arjit Bali with Advisor A. Stillwell
Achieving high power density is crucial for electric aviation applications. Having a high system voltage (in the kilovolt range) allows us to save weight by using lower-current rated conductors. However, at present, we do not have many switching devices that support such high voltages; hence, there is a need to investigate topologies that support voltages in the kilovolt range. In addition, high-speed machines such as those used in electric aviation applications demand very clean signals.
My research focuses on evaluating two topologies, the current-source Inverter and multilevel voltage-source inverters, that have shown promise in supporting high system- level voltages and providing the clean signals that high-speed machines demand, all the while maintaining high power densities. I am currently testing an interleaved + multilevel topology called the Interleaved Hybrid Active Neutral Point Converter. The goal is to use this prototype to show that multilevel topologies can increase drive power densities for electric aviation applications.