US Army Awards GE Aviation Contract to Develop SiC Power Electronics

GE Aviation has been awarded a $4.1m contract from the US Army to develop and demonstrate silicon carbide (SiC) based power electronics supporting high-voltage next-generation ground vehicle electrical power architecture.

“We continue to invest in silicon carbide and high-density packaging to help the US Army better manage onboard power. This component provides the additional benefit of eliminating the need for an electronic cooling system,” says Vic Bonneau, President of Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation. “Our similar silicon carbide-based programs and planned reuse have led to this new, critical high-temperature application.”

The contract will result in three hardware deliverables after a 24-month development program that will demonstrate the benefits of GE’s SiC MOSFET technology in a 200kW starter generator controller. The integrated starter generator controller (ISGC) will provide sensored and sensorless control for multiple generator types in a single line replaceable unit weighing less than 50 lb. It will operate at 125°C ambient in bi-directional operation for engine start. The ISGC will utilize 105°C coolant and will be CANbus programmable.

The contract is GE’s fifth in support of the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) next-generation vehicle electrical power architecture leap-ahead technology development. It will result in a prototype demonstration in 2018.

DCS Corporation (Alexandria, VA) is the contracting agent for TARDEC. DCS develops advanced technology solutions and provides acquisition management expertise for US Army aviation, ground vehicle, soldier systems and missile systems.

GE’s Global Research Center is leading the development of SiC MOSFET technology across multiple industries including aviation, healthcare and energy in particular.

Get a flavor of the expertise and programs at GE by attending Conference @ Ceramics Expo on Tuesday April 25 at 2:45pm. James Vartuli, Platform Leader of Ceramic Matrix Composites at GE Global Research, will talk on the subject ‘Reviewing Environmental Barrier Coating Development at General Electric’. Registration is free of charge.

This story was included as part of the monthly Ceramics Expo e-newsletter.