21-25 July 2019
Connecticut Convention Center, Level 6
US/Eastern timezone

M4Or1A-05 [Invited]: Development of Superconducting-Magnetic-Energy-Storage (SMES) for Electric Aircraft Propulsion

25 Jul 2019, 11:00
Level 6, Room 12-13

Level 6, Room 12-13


Timothy Haugan (U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)


Electrical energy storage devices are critical components of electric power systems of every aerospace vehicle. They are needed for many functions, such as an energy source for electric-vehicle (EV) propulsion, as an electrical accumulator unit (EAU) to handle 2-3x higher-than-average transient loads both on/off the power buses, for emergency power during system failure, and to provide high-power for pulsed loads. Superconducting-magnetic-energy-storage (SMES) devices offer unique features for aerospace applications including the highest power densities of any technology > 100 kW/kg for both charge and discharge, 100% storage efficiencies for unlimited times, and virtually no degradation for up to 10^8 charge/discharge cycles for some designs.
This paper will describe about the research and development of SMES for electric aircraft propulsion, and provide a recent update on the performance of SMES and large magnets being built. The development of supporting technologies needed to integrate SMES into aerospace vehicles will be presented. In-house computation of the design of SMES devices optimized for mass-specific energy densities will be shown, and compared with devices presently existing or being developed. The energy density of SMES was traditionally < 10 Wh/kg, however recent computational investigations indicate the energy densities could reach > 100 Wh/kg and be competitive with Li-batteries.

Acknowledgments: The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and LRIR #18RQCOR100, and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL/RQ).

Primary authors

Timothy Haugan (U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory) Dr Thomas Bullard (UES Inc.)

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