The objective of the activity is to develop, manufacture and test a compact Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit (PCDU) Engineering Model employing high frequency switching techniques, integrating Battery Charge Regulator (BCR) and Internal bus DC/DC Converter (IBC).
Targeted Improvements: Reduction of volume and mass by 50% of the PCDU thanks to a significant higher switching frequency (up to 1MHz) in comparison to todays state of art 100kHz range.
The Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit(PCDU) in a satcom system is a complex unit comprising a large number of modules. In general, each module is dedicated to a single function. Two of these functions are the Battery Charge Regulator (BCR), a DC/DC converter and the Internal Bus Converter (IBC), a DC/DC converter used to generate an internal bus (typically 28 V) to feed all of the platform units.
Currently, the BCR and IBC use low switching frequencies. This leads to a relatively bulky design and the need for dedicated modules for each function. Due to redundancy requirements, typically at least two modules of each type are needed. In recent years there have been a number of important developments such as GaN switches, digital control, new PCB technologies, etc., that enable new designs with significant higher switching frequency. This allows shrinking the volume and mass by at least 50% without performance degradation. It also allows integrating the BCR and IBC into a single module.
The challenge is mainly associated to the design of a high switching frequency converter including driver and control system. Another key point is the thermal management of the PCB, which may require novel manufacturing techniques. Hence, in this activity an Engineering Model of a combined BCR and IBC module of a PCDU will be designed, manufactured and tested to demonstrate the volume and mass reduction.