New SAE International Committee Established for Energy Storage and Charging of Electric Aircraft

Aircraft fly internationally and operate globally. The aviation industry expects common standards to refuel all types of aircraft regardless of where they operate, without adapters, funnels, or proprietary couplings. The same concept is extended to electric aircraft: a common, global charging interface will allow the many types of electric aircraft to physically connect to charging equipment and to communicate an understood data “handshake” to transmit the correct amount of electrical power.
Developing the international charging standard for electric aircraft is a task of the new SAE International AE-7D Aircraft Energy Storage and Charging Committee. More specifically, the Committee is responsible for creating and maintaining technical reports for battery energy storage, distribution, and charging. This new effort comes in parallel with the establishment of the new SAE E-40 committee on Electrified Propulsion, and to support this effort, knowledge and best practices will be shared from other SAE International committees including AE-7B Power Management, Distribution and Storage; AE-8 Aero Electrical and Electronics Distribution Systems; AGE-3 Aircraft Ground Support Equipment Committee; SAE Hybrid-EV Connector Committee and the Ground Vehicle Battery Steering Committee as well as other related standards committees.

“Henry Ford, automotive industry visionary and pioneer said, ‘Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is success.’  For our new committee, coming together is the beginning, but working together for defining the common global charging standards for electric aviation will be our goal”, states Dr. Susan X. Ying, VP, Technology Strategy & International Relations, AMPAIRE. Referring to lessons learned and best practices, AE-7D will standardize physical charging interfaces (connector plugs/sockets) and charging performance specifications (power and communication protocols) to charge batteries installed on electric aircraft.

Furthermore, as a variety of more than 100 electric aircraft designs are hoping to enter the market, a globally standardized interface to safely and efficiently recharge their energy storage devices (e.g. batteries) becomes a necessity. “The aviation industry does not compete on safety, as the whole industry can flourish if the skies are safe. Now is the time for global energy and charging standards to advance a sustainable future for aviation,” states Joshua Portlock, Founder – Chairman, Electro.Aero.

AE-7D will also develop and publish SAE International Technical Reports for aircraft energy storage devices (e.g. batteries), and a technical report for the installation, use and maintenance (including prognostics and health management or PHM) of aircraft energy storage and battery systems is underway and will be transferred to AE-7D for completion.

The committee will meet virtually and face to face. Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact, Dorothy Lloyd, Aerospace Standards Specialist, by emailing
SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm, the SAE Foundation, which helps fund programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.
- -
  Continue reading »