The development and implementation of advanced technologies which allow for energy efficient solutions with reduced environmental impact is of extreme importance. In the aviation sector long-term roadmaps, such as ACARE Flightpath 2050, set specific goals such as 75% reduction of CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometre and 90% reduction of NOX.
Achievement of these strategic goals requires that new thermal and mechanical concepts and architectures are developed for power units. In order to make new architectures attractive, the power density and the modularity of the power sub-systems (especially DC/DC converters) must be pushed to the highest level. This can be achieved today taking advantage from the availability of new switching devices and technologies.
Integration of mechanical systems with power electronics, so called “mechatronics”, can help in achieving such stringent objectives, especially in case of simultaneous presence of primary (e.g. generator) and secondary (e.g. batteries, supercapacitors) electrical power sources.
In such scenario it is possible to implement “energy management” strategies that can optimize the global electrical power consumptions of the aircraft loads, obtaining additional weight benefits. In this context, the role of the DC/DC converters is of fundamental importance to achieve the required degree of hybridization on-board. DC/DC converters are essential bridges between the secondary DC voltage bus (evolving toward higher voltage implementations) and the power storage elements (usually low voltage) whose main purpose is to store or provide electrical energy depending on the specific flight conditions.
Project SCOPUS will provide a smart compact bidirectional modular DC/DC converter for aeronautic applications in the context of a hybrid electric aircraft, which main features are: Modularity and Safety, Energy Management, above the state-of-the-art Power Density.