PCB Busbar Design and Verification for a Multiphase SiC-based All-electric Aircraft Powertrain Converter

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Virginia Tech

The development and implementation of silicon carbine (SiC) devices is steadily increasing facilitating the electrification of aircrafts. In this thesis, a printed circuit board (PCB) based heavy copper busbar design and verification are introduced for a SiC based 250 kW multiphase drive system operated at 40,000 ft. Finite-element analysis (FEA) simulation studies of the PCB busbar are conducted to optimize the electric field intensity. Busbar modeling technic is also discussed to derive the current distribution and extract the loss. The measured partial discharge inception voltage (PDIV), switching transients and converter-level validations are provided for insulation, thermal and commutation loop verifications. As the part of the inverter system, the integrated gate driver is designed with SPI communication to drive the wide bandgap SiC power modules. With feature of drain-to-source current sensing feature, the gate driver could also provide over-current protection to fast-switching SiC power modules. The converter level verification is performed under single, dual, and quadruple three-phase inverter system for aviation motor drive to evaluate the overall performance of the powertrain converter. The outcomes of this research contribute to the advancement of electric aircraft technology by leveraging the benefits of SiC devices and optimizing busbar design, providing valuable insights and guidelines for engineers and researchers involved in the development and optimization of power electronic systems for all-electric aircraft applications.

PCB busbar, high altitude, multiphase converter, partial discharge, silicon carbide, aviation