Arjit Bali with adviser 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 having lower current rated conductors. However, presently we do not have a lot of switching devices that support such high voltages and 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.

This research focuses on evaluating two topologies, namely the current source inverter and the flying capacitor multilevel (FCML) that have shown promise to be able to support high system-level voltages and provide the clean signals that high-speed machines demand, all while maintaining high power densities.

Figure 1: FCML inverter