Step by Step

Steps taken to complete the project

  1. Determine how the general specifications of the project map to requirements for the power electronics converter
  2. Developed theoretical loss, weight, and volume models for several different converters in order to compare different topologies and designs.  A flying capacitor multilevel converter was shown to be an advantageous design choice over other topologies.
  3. Developed high fidelity loss models for all components in a flying capacitor multilevel converter.
  4. Developed an advanced Monte Carlo simulation tool incorporating these loss models in order to optimize the design.  This simulation tool creates a pareto-optimal front which shows the tradeoff between loss (efficiency) and weight (specific power = power per unit weight).
  5. Created advanced hardware-in-the-loop models of inverter performance so we could rapidly develop control algorithms in parallel with the hardware development. o   Designed and developed two rounds of hardware and control algorithms (iterating and learning during each round of hardware development).
  6. Preparing for the third round of hardware development to further improve the cooling and packaging of the inverter

NOTE: We have also been evaluating the cryogenic (ultra-cold) operation of converters which had never been done before.  This was a parallel task and is also appealing for more-electric aircraft applications once the electric machines become super-conducting.