The increasing electrification of different systems on an aircraft is an irreversible trend that will move faster and intensify in the coming future. More electrification is expected to happen in the future with a complete elimination of the hydraulic system and possibly with the addition of electric and distributed propulsion systems. However, technological hurdles exist for power generation, distribution, and conversion systems in the high power and high voltage ranges with the necessary efficiency and power density required for a transport-class aircraft. Combined with the lower atmospheric pressure, frequent temperature variations, vibrations, and fluid contamination risks, and increased electrical power faults such as partial discharge, parallel/series arc faults, and others can be even more dangerous in an aircraft and cause catastrophic vehicle damage and safety risks for operators in installation and maintenance operations.
Optimizing the weight of EWIS without compromising the safety and reliability of the aircraft operation is the main challenge.
The project SEWIS (Safe Electrical Wiring and Interconnection System) aims at developing innovative high voltage EWIS components cable and connectors with embedded safety and health monitoring features. Thanks to reactive local fibre optics and electrical sensors distributed inside the cable and the connectors, detecting local electrical faults and ageing of insulation, the safety and reliability of EWIS will be satisfied.
SEWIS enables customisation of high voltage EWIS at far greater levels than anyone in this industry has achieved before.
SEWIS paves the way to future high voltage European standards of the electrical distribution system.