GAIA Converter and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid develop optimal DC-DC converter design for More Electric Aircraft

GAIA Converter in collaboration with Universidad Politecnica de Madrid has developed an optimal DC-DC converter design for More Electric Aircraft (MEA) with over 96% efficiency. The new design meets stringent MEA specifications while providing a wide input voltage and output power range, high power-density and narrow frequency variations.

DC-DC converters are critical to the ongoing transition toward More Electric Aircraft (MEA). The replacement of hydraulic and pneumatic systems with electric solutions requires Size, Weight and Power (SWaP)-optimized converters that also ensure high levels of isolation.

GAIA Converter’s R&D team worked closely with Universidad Politecnica de Madrid to develop and implement a new automated design tool, based on an optimization algorithm. The team was able to meet stringent MEA specifications, including mechanical dimensions, thermal conditions, and EMI standards, while taking design optimization to the next level. The project led to the creation of an optimized high-frequency (1MHz) resonant LLC converter prototype. The converter has an input voltage range from 220 V to 320 V and delivers 1.5KW output power at 28V output voltage. This converter achieves an efficiency over 96% at full power with a power-density of 32 kW/dm3, (half-brick package) and a narrow frequency variation range (15%).

The design of all the key components of the LLC converter was selected based on the optimization algorithm. The tool enabled the team to select optimal resonant tank parameters, matrix transformer design, and semiconductors (GAN, MOSFET) for the inverter and rectifier stages, according to specific design requirements that were validated throughout the process.

This research will simplify the design process for achieving highly efficient DC-DC converters capable of meeting MEA standards and pave the way for future innovation in power densification.

Henri Huillet, CEO at GAIA Converter said: “At GAIA Converter we are always looking to innovate. Moving toward MEA is critical to developing more efficient aircraft and reducing emissions in line with the aerospace industry’s climate commitments. This project demonstrates how highly reliable and efficient integrated power conversion systems can be part of the solution and support the transition to MEA.”

Miroslav Vasic, Associate Professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, added: “By combining years’ of expertise of Gaia Converter’s R&D team with the extensive knowledge of our the team at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, we have been able to make a significant leap forward in supporting the development of state of the art solutions for critical market applications.”

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