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Published on 10 July 2023

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A high-density power converter/charger designed specifically for aeronautics​

As part of the European NENUFAR project, CEA has developed an innovative converter dedicated to aeronautical applications. It charges the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries and provides DC/DC conversion to power auxiliary components such as instrument panels, interior lighting and USB sockets. Based on wide-band gap Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors, this converter features four 2 kW modules that can be used separately or together. Its power density is twice that of existing solutions.

What's new?

  • Two functions with a single integrated converter:
- Charge lithium-ion batteries
- Generate low voltage for an aircraft's DC bus

  • High power density thanks to optimized architecture:
2 kW/kg as compared to 1 kW/kg for existing solutions

  • Record efficiency: 96.5% versus 95% for existing conversion solutions, equivalent to a 30% reduction in losses

  • Longer service life thanks to a modular architecture
that reduces stress on all components​

What's next?
This innovative converter can be adapted to specific projects
and offers greater efficiency, higher power density and lower costs.
Transfer to other industrial partners such as players in the automobile
industry can be achieved within two to three years.

Single Module​​​​

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         Converter​ test with battery                                                                 Complete converter with four parallel modules


This converter supports the aeronautics sector's move towards higher-performance electrical technologies: lithium-ion batteries to replace lead-acid batteries, high power density, reduced conversion losses, etc. It has two main functions: ​ 

• Low-Voltage lithium-ion aeronautical battery charger

•DC/DC  converter (270V to 28V) for low-voltage buses.0It features analog controls that are impervious to software errors.



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