3D Integration of High-Power-Density Inverter and Microfluidic Cooling

Achievement date: 
2018
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Using 3D integration with microfluidic cooling, researchers achieved the highest-power-density inverter for electric aircraft in research supported by the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Illinois.

Impact/benefits: 

The achievement represents a key enabling technology for aircraft that utilize more electric-powered motors, including as supplemental power for propulsion and in the future, fully electrical-powered aircraft. The technology can encourage radically new aircraft designs with up to 40% fuel savings. 

Explanation/Background: 

With weight of batteries and electric motors a distinct barrier to their use in aircraft, inverters that pack high-power density are a key element to achieve all-electric flight. The inverter demonstrated by the POETS researchers achieved a 3.5x increase in thermal performance.

The research was conducted through a multi-campus collaboration between POETS researchers at the University of Illinois and Stanford University.