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Aircraft Inverter for Aviation Electronics

Click: 441    Date: 09/12/2023 2::42::45 PM

Aircraft Inverter for Aviation Electronics

An inverter is an electrical device that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). In aircraft, inverters are commonly used to supply AC power from DC sources such as batteries. The converted AC can be at any required voltage and frequency with the use of appropriate transformers, switching, and control circuits.

Essential Component in Aircraft

Power converters, including inverters, are essential components in most aircraft concepts. They are used to convert from DC to AC power, or vice versa. These devices are an order of magnitude larger, lower weight, and higher efficiency compared to state-of-the-art aircraft.

Advancements in Aircraft Inverters

NASA is sponsoring or performing work to achieve power densities 2-3 times the state of the art for converters in the MW or larger class. This research sets the path to achieving the performance, functions, and safety needed for large electric and hybrid electric aircraft.

Applications of Aircraft Inverters

Aircraft inverters have various applications, including in the High Lift Motor Controller (HLMC) and Generalized Intelligent Motor Control (GIMC) for the X-57 Aircraft. These systems use a 6-switch, DC to AC 3-phase inverter with a microcontroller-based control. The inverters are passively air-cooled, providing efficient thermal management.

The High-Efficiency Electric Aircraft Thermal Research (HEATheR) Converter uses a 36-switch multi-level interleaved DC to AC 3-phase inverter with an FPGA control. This system uses a liquid cold plate cooling system for superior thermal management.

Future of Aircraft Inverters

The future of aircraft inverters is promising with advancements in electric and hybrid electric propulsion systems. Companies like Rolls-Royce intend to become the leading supplier of these systems for aircraft, while Siemens continues to support the transition to electric aviation with its digital solutions portfolio.

In conclusion, the aircraft inverter is a crucial component in aviation electronics, providing the necessary AC power from DC sources. With ongoing research and advancements in technology, the efficiency, power density, and performance of these inverters continue to improve, paving the way for the future of electric and hybrid electric aviation.