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Extending the range of applications where integrated power electronics modules (IPEM) have been used, CPES developed under THALES Avionics Electrical Systems (TAES) sponsorships a 60 kW three-phase IPEM, namely THALIPEM. This high-power IPEM was envisioned by TAES-CPES as an ultra-high reliability three-phase power conversion module to be used in different applications onboard commercial aircrafts, capable of operating from different ac and dc voltage networks, fixed and variable frequency, in both ac-dc and dc-ac power conversion modes, and of parallel operation for higher power applications. CPES pursued this novel concept formulating and proposing a reliability-oriented design strategy for power electronics systems with which the complete modeling and design of the THALIPEM was conducted, where for instance CPES proposed the replacement of Aluminum electrolytic capacitors by film capacitors increasing the lifetime of the converter fourfold, a practice which has become standard in high switching frequency power converters when no energy storage is required. Regarding the THALIPEM extended functionality, CPES employed FPGA/DSP based digital controls enabling the use of software-implemented application-specific control algorithms providing the required system flexibility. The results obtained from the THALIPEM design and evaluation showed the multiple benefits and advantages attainable by the use of modular power electronics converters for aircraft applications; standardization, flexibility and simpler operation and maintenance among the ones with higher impact. It is expected that the module-based approach to power electronics will continue expanding into the aircraft industry in the form of module-based power converters and system architectures.
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