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UW Crest with engineering background
July 11, 2022

Researchers win Electric Aircraft Technologies Symposium best paper award

Written By: Jason Daley

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A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and students won the best paper award at the IEEE/AIAA Transportation Electrification Conference and Electric Aircraft Technologies Symposium (ITEC+EATS) in Anaheim, California, in June 2022.

The team includes Bulent Sarlioglu, the Jean van Bladel Associate Professor in electrical and computer engineering, Thomas Jahns, the Grainger Emeritus Professor of Power Electronics and Electric Machines and PhD students Hao Zeng and James Swanke.

Their winning paper is titled “High-frequency modeling and inter-turn voltage distribution analysis of a modular electric machine for electric aircraft propulsion.”

Researchers are working on new types of electric propulsion systems for aircraft. However, these machines face many stresses, including electric field stresses, reduced air pressure at high altitudes and elevated switching speeds of wide-bandgap power semiconductor switches. This raises the risk of partial discharge and insulation breakdown in machine windings.

In their paper, the team presents an analytical approach for predicting the inter-turn voltage distribution inside machine windings based on a high-frequency turn model that makes it possible to predict voltage stresses on every part of the winding. They also used the model to analyze the stresses on a 1-megawatt permanent magnet machine. This type of modeling will allow engineers to accommodate peak electric field stresses when designing winding insulation systems.