Intelligent Electric Power Network Evaluation Facility (IEPNEF)

IEPNEF provides a unique capability to examine more-electric aircraft power systems

The Intelligent Electric Power Network Evaluation Facility (IEPNEF) is a state-of-the art, 100 kW facility, which has been installed at Manchester as part of a national project to devise and develop more-electric technologies for future aircraft and land-based vehicles and examine system interactions. IEPNEF is a key component of the Rolls-Royce UTC and also forms part of the University's Aerospace Research Institute and Manchester Energy.

The IEPNEF was established at Manchester by a £1m investment from Rolls-Royce and the MoD under the Systems Engineering for Autonomous Systems Defence Technology Centre. IEPNEF provides a unique capability to examine more-electric aircraft power systems. In the 100 kW facility, hardware-in-the-loop techniques are used to provide an aero-engine emulator that drives real generator hardware supplying a four-bus reconfigurable network.

If you have any queries please contact Dr Rebecca Todd

Active load systems

A suite of active load systems provide the capability to emulate the behaviour of real aircraft loads such as avionics, actuators, energy storage or fuel pumps.

All four active load systems consist of a custom designed 30kW, 3kHz bandwidth DC/DC converter with a 38kW active front end.

A real-time platform (RTP) enables Matlab/Simulink models to be compiled and executed on the active load systems.

Control room

All IEPNEF equipment can be commanded from an adjacent control room.

All IEPNEF equipment is fully integrated with a commercial SCADA system which provides command / monitor functionality.

DC power network

IEPNEF contains a 540V 100kW DC reconfigurable DC power network which interconnects the load and generation / energy storage system.

Energy storage system

A 1MJ super-capacitor based energy storage system with a dual interleaved DC/DC converter is controlled by a real-time platform.

Gas engine emulation

Two 115kW electric drive systems enable the emulation of a two-spool gas engine. A real-time platform contains a Matlab/Simulink gas engine model which outputs a speed reference to the two emulator drive systems based on engine throttle, environmental data and shaft torque from the emulator drive shafts.

The real-time platform also has the capability to undertake full flight profiles by automatically commanding the load and generator systems.

Generation systems

Each gas engine spool is coupled to an electrical generator.

The low pressure spool has a 70kW, 3000rpm five-phase fault tolerant permanent magnet generator, separate per-phase H-bridge converters with a real-time control platform.

The high pressure spool has a 30kW, 15,000rpm switched reluctance starter generator.

Resistive load banks

Two 30kW 80VDC rated load banks provide additional load capability.

Both load banks can be commanded by Profibus and can be stepped in approximately 5kW increments.

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