Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion Protection System Design Trades 2014-01-2141
The Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion (TeDP) concept uses gas turbine engines as prime movers for generators whose electrical power is used to drive motors and propulsors. For this NASA N3-X study, the motors, generators, and DC transmission lines are superconducting, and the power electronics and circuit breakers are cryogenic to maximize efficiency and increase power density of all associated components. Some of the protection challenges of a superconducting DC network are discussed such as low natural damping, superconducting and quenched states, and fast fault response time. For a given TeDP electrical system architecture with fixed power ratings, solid-state circuit breakers combined with superconducting fault-current limiters are examined with current-source control to limit and interrupt the fault current. To estimate the protection system weight and losses, scalable models of cryogenic bidirectional current-source converters, cryogenic bidirectional IGBT solid-state circuit breakers (CBs), and resistive-type superconducting fault current limiters (SFCLs) are developed to assess how the weight and losses of these components vary as a function of nominal voltage and current and fault current ratings. The scalable models are used to assess the protection system weight for several trade-offs. System studies include the trade-off in fault-current limiting capability of SFCLs on CB mass, alongside the fault-current limiting capability of the converter and its impact on CB fault-current interruption ratings and weight.