Electrical power supply converter

452 - Abstract of the offer:
The European Space Agency (ESA) is interested in licensing an electrical power supply converter coupled to a source of electricity and to an electricity feed line such as a bus. The novelty of this system lies on the capability to perform the functions of shunt, battery charge regulation and battery discharge regulation with only two active switches. License agreement is sought.


Space missions operate in a quite unique environment, creating the need for specialized solutions, e.g. with the need for the materials to be light, strong and radiation resistant. Their power requirements are also very distinctive, especially considering the usual power source, the sun, and its availability. In low earth orbit, for example, satellites must operate with consideration to the eclipse time, for when their orbit places them in the earth shadow.

As such, batteries are the norm in satellite applications, as they guarantee the supply of power to systems when the solar panels are in the dark. The batteries are subjected to rigorous control, as failure in this system can critically wound a mission.

Prior art solutions include the use of a bus that is powered without regulation, a relatively high efficiency solution. However there are some drawbacks, particularly in the dimensioning of the electronics and the implementation of protection mechanisms. Other missions, such as the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) moved on to the employment of regulated buses in their power systems.

The present invention improves on the prior art by a module of simple architecture that can perform all the bus regulating operations, working as a shunt, battery charge regulation and battery discharge regulation. The control circuit is also very simple, in the end providing the advantages of having a controlled power bus, with a minimal complexity device.

Innovations and advantages

For space technology, size and weight are very important features. By providing the advantages of a controlled energy bus in a smaller and less complex device, the inventor has managed to improve current power supply converters state of the art.

Domains of application

Electrical engineering, power engineering and the electrical power industry are easily distinguished as the technical fields of expertise that could benefit from this type of improvment.

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