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Aircraft electrical grids: power quality conformity and power electronics solutions


Within the context called More Electric Aircraft (MEA), which aims to replace pneumatic or hydraulic actuators by electromechanical devices, there is increase in electricity consumption on an airplane. Add to this the fact that most modern aircraft operate with the generation of variable frequency between 360 and 800 Hz, which implies additional control requirements in comparison to conventional 60 Hz grids. The power distribution grid is done mainly by DC bus. The airplanes with higher demand use a +/- 270 V bus, intended to feed the growing demand for electricity. Quality requirements in the supply should be followed in all different buses. This project uses concepts of Power Quality (PQ) applying them in aeronautical environments. Different power electronic solutions will be employed in order to ensure compliance of grid requirements established by the standards, both in AC variable frequency bus as the DC bus. In this context, active power filtering applications will be considered on the AC bus, with the challenging operation in high and rapidly changing frequency. Additionally, rectifiers with a high power factor and bipolar output will be considered with reference to both the performance on the DC side and the AC side impact. (AU)

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