Superconducting Momentary Circuit Interrupter: Fault Protection with Ultralow Loss and Ultrafast Response for Future Electric Aviation
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Fault protection must be provided for future turboelectric aircraft’s medium-voltage direct current power systems, but not necessarily from conventional circuit breakers. Illinois Institute of Technology will develop a 10 kV/150A superconducting momentary circuit interrupter (SMCI) to provide fault protection with ultralow power loss (<1 W), ultrafast response (<10 μs or ten millionth of a second), and high-power density. The architecture comprises an SMCI with a fast mechanical disconnect switch. Under normal operation, the SMCI conducts a DC load current through a high-temperature superconducting winding of a pulse transformer. Under a fault condition, the SMCI injects a high transient voltage via the transformer, drives the fault current to zero quickly, and holds the current as a small AC ripple current, allowing the mechanical switch to open safely and isolate the fault.