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Two-Phase Power Electronics Cooling Solution Design in Air Context Answering to the Objectives of the Hybrid Aircraft 2035

Abstract : Technological innovation and reduction of the energy required for propulsion is necessary to reduce aircrafts environmental impact. The present work is part of the research project Clean Sky 2 – HASTECS, which purpose is the development of a hybrid propulsion aircraft. The high powers involved make classical cooling solutions obsolete, in terms of efficiency, and not suitable for the power to mass ratio required for the target 2035. In particular, the problem related to power electronics cooling is assessed in this work with the purpose to achieve a performance coefficient of 25 kW/kg.This work, essentially numerical, is linked to the research, design, optimisation and analysis of a high efficiency cooling system, able to control power electronics components temperature, operating in pretty severe conditions (high thermal power density, >15kW; cyclic variation of cold source temperature and severe transient phases) and which has to be lightweight to ensure performance coefficient requirements. Different cooling technologies, active single and two-phase and passive capillary driven, have been analysed and compared on the basis of literature data and of a first approximation design: the most adapted solution has been chosen on the base of its specific power [kW/kg]. The solution that has been finally retained is a Capillary Pumped Loop for Integrated Power (CPLIP), which thermal characteristics are quite interesting and unique. After its design, the loop has been optimised to answer to objectives of 2025 and 2035. It is worth of attention the work carried out in collaboration with power electronics team of the same project to achieve a mutual optimisation of the systems. Concerning the thermal side, the attention was focused on the condenser, the heaviest component in the loop. The 2025’s solution is characterised by a classical flat plate air-methanol condenser which allowed to cross over the threshold of 15kW/kg for 2025. 2035’s solution, on the contrary, is characterised by an innovative condenser typology, using microchannels on methanol side and louvered fins on air side, allowing to obtain more than double of the power coefficient required! In this work, thermal and hydraulic characteristics of the CPLIP have been experimentally analysed, using a prototype deriving from previous studies, and by using CFD and a 0D model. Results show the ability of the CPLIP to control the temperature of power electronics modules during a short and medium-range aircraft mission profile, characterised by sudden changes of thermal load and cyclic variations of the cold source temperature.Finally, a study focused on the transient behaviour of the loop has been carried out. In particular, the start-up of the CPLIP and its behaviour during sudden and violent acceleration stages, characterising this application filed, have been exploited. In the first case, an experimental and a numerical study were carried out to demonstrate the ability of the loop to starts its operation in the most difficult thermal and environmental conditions (high thermal load and high environmental temperature). In the second case, a numerical study has been performed to understand the behaviour of the loop when an acceleration field up to 10g perturbs its operations.This work opens new interesting perspectives stand points concerning the application itself and the necessity to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to simultaneously thermally and electronically design new generation power electronics.
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Flavio Accorinti. Two-Phase Power Electronics Cooling Solution Design in Air Context Answering to the Objectives of the Hybrid Aircraft 2035. Other. ISAE-ENSMA Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d'Aérotechique - Poitiers, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020ESMA0005⟩. ⟨tel-02993195⟩

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