Year of Publication

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Arthur V. Radun

Abstract

The latest generation of fighter aircraft utilizes a 270Vdc power system [1]. Such high voltage DC power systems are difficult to protect with conventional circuit breakers because the current does not automatically go to zero twice per cycle during a fault like it does in an AC power system and thus arcing of the contacts is a problem. Solid state power controllers (SSPCs) are the solid state equivalent of a circuit breaker that do not arc and which can respond more rapidly to a fault than a mechanical breaker [2]. Present SSPCs are limited to lower voltages and currents by the available power semiconductors [8,9]. This dissertation presents design and experimental results for a SSPC that utilizes SiC power JFETs for the SSPC power switch to extend SSPC capability to higher voltages and currents in a space that is smaller than what is practically achievable with a Si power switch. The research started with the thermal analysis of the SSPCs power switch, which will guide the development of a SiC JFET multi-chip power module to be fabricated by Solid State Devices Inc. (SSDI) using JFETs from SiCED and/or Semisouth LLC. Multiple multi-chip power modules will be paralleled to make the SSPC switch. Fabricated devices were evaluated thermally both statically and dynamically and electrically both statically and dynamically. In addition to the SiC module research a detailed design of the high voltage SSPC control circuit capable of operating at 200andamp;ordm;C was completed including detailed analysis, modeling and simulations, detailed schematic diagrams and detailed drawings. Finally breadboards of selected control circuits were fabricated and tested to verify simulation results. Methods for testing SiC JFET devices under transient thermal conditions unique to the SSPC application was also developed.

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