The innovation is the application of a high temperature, modified fluorenone polyester (MFPE) dielectric for link capacitors and other capacitive functions, critical components in the high power, high temperature power management and distributions (PMAD) systems being developed for lunar and planetary applications. TPL has solved the leakage current issue which has plagued FPE. MFPE capacitors have demonstrated > 200 oC performance at a significant operating voltage. A multi-layer film approach will also be investigated to enhance breakdown strength. MFPE capacitors represent an advance with respect to temperature, power density and energy density over state-of-the-art capacitors.
The NASA Technology Roadmap, TA 3: Space Power and Energy Storage, identify the need for improvements in capacitor performance, i.e. TA 3.3.3 Distribution and Transmission – “high-voltage power distribution passive components and high temperature capacitors”; and TA 3.3.5 Conversion and Regulation – “high-temperature, high voltage capacitors critical to new converter designs”. NASA’s requirements are challenging: power requirements > 100 kW; voltages range from 450 VAC to > 1,500V; temperatures listed range from 150 ◦C to > 300 ◦C; and the power conversion system applications involved suggest that high capacitance values are needed.
TPL, in collaboration with NASA, will review required capacitor applications; develop design specifications for several applications; design capacitors for one or more power conversion systems; and fabricate and test MFPE film under appropriate conditions to indicate the feasibility of achieving the established design specifications. The result of the Phase I investigation will be a detailed product development proposal to be conducted as a Phase II effort.
The application of MFPE capacitors to lunar and planetary power capacitor requirements will achieve major advances in power density and energy density at high operating temperature and voltages.
The Power Energy and Storage Focus Area has numerous needs for capacitors with higher performance capabilities such as Dynamic Power Conversion and Lunar Power Management and Distribution involving power conversion. All aircraft electrification programs where filter, snubber, and link capacitors are involved have a need for high temperature, high voltage capacitors.
DOD efforts in aircraft electrification, F-35, F-25, F-18, and advanced aircraft along with commercial aircraft such as Boeing’s 787; next gen electric grid with its use of renewables and their reliance on power conversion systems; high value, hybrid electric vehicles; and oil and gas industry – in deep well, high temperature environments - drilling motors, logging tools, fluid pumping systems.