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By: Michael Traskos

Aerospace High Voltage Systems: Addressing the Gaps in Current Standards

The aerospace segment has been dealing with questions of high voltage systems for the last decade. Many of these questions revolve around the generation, storage, and use of this power, but what has also been a hindrance for progress is defining how the standards for the wiring system need to be updated to address these high voltage requirements. As should be done when any new technology is being applied to a field, we should first look at other fields which have undergone the implementation of similar technologies. For example, the automotive market has been using high voltage systems for quite some time and the standards committees have produced documents supporting these technologies.

In this article, we review one of these documents on high voltage directed to the automotive market and see how it lines up with the existing aerospace standards.

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Skin Effect

An area of power transmission that we have not talked about in any Lectromec article thus far is the impact of skin effect. While this is an area that is well documented and understood for signal/data cables, the impacts in the area of power cables have been generally ignored. However, as power systems embrace new power technologies, skin effect starts to creep in to have a noticeable and measurable impact. In this article, we discuss what skin effect is and its impact.

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In Consideration of Backshells

The backshell of a connector is an item that perhaps does not get the attention that it should. Often the discussion of EWIS focuses on the wiring, the connectors, or managing the risk of EWIS failures, but the connector backshell is ignored. The simple connector backshell (that is anything but simple) is designed for support and protection of wires and cables physically and, in the case of signal cables, support and protect electrically too. The following is a brief introduction to backshells, their use, associated standards, and research that has been performed to determine what to look for when performing maintenance.

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Pull Through Testing- An Addition to NEMA 27500

An area that has been poorly defined until recently has been the potential damage to wire/cable insulation due to wiring installation on aircraft. The latest revision of NEMA 27500 has looked to address this gap in cable assessments. In this article, we review the test requirement, expected performance, and what the results may mean to designers and installers.

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An Introduction to AS50881

For the last 17 years, Lectromec publications have discussed items related to the aerospace wiring installation standard AS50881. The standard is often referenced in many of our articles, but Lectromec has never really talked about what this standard is, why it should be used, who should use the standard, and what should be considered when the standard is employed.

To remedy this oversight, this article seeks to address the question many come to ask when approaching EWIS: why should I care about AS50881?

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Addressing the Big Questions of Partial Discharge

In this high-voltage present, wires and cables must address new challenges, perhaps the most notable is partial discharge (also referred to as corona). This article discusses the fundamentals of partial discharge, its impacts on wiring design, and test methods used to assess a component’s partial discharge performance. The PD may occur between (1) the conductor and insulation, (2) within void in the insulation, (3) between insulation layers, or (4) between the insulation surface and shield. Read more

Integrating EWIS into Fleet Sustainment and MECSIP

While the Electrical Wiring Interconnection System (EWIS) evaluations and sustainment requirements have been part of the Mechanical Equipment and Subsystems Integrity Program (MECSIP) since 2013, it is only just recently that EWIS elements are part of performance measurements. This webinar, presented by Lectromec, provides an excellent opportunity to improve your understanding of EWIS, EWIS requirements, and highlights a path for better and more cost-effective EWIS evaluation. Read more

Electric Aircraft Design Considerations

Electrical energy storage has reached a point where it is possible for the manned vehicle propulsion to use non-petroleum based energy. To achieve this goal, it has required a lot of research, design, and innovation that has pushed these vehicles to depend on high voltage electrical power systems and forego the use of hydraulics and pneumatics. If electrical aircraft are the aircraft of the future, what are the design factors that the EWIS community will have to address? Read more

Top 5 Articles from 2020

In 2020, Lectromec’s website repository of articles on EWIS and EWIS related topics exceeded 300. The best part is that there is so much more to cover, and we will continue to do so in 2021.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, it is time for the yearly gathering of the most popular articles of the last 366 days. While we published fewer articles in 2020, the quality did not diminish. Here are the top 5 of 2020.

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Impacts of Sanitizing Fluids on Wiring

Key Takeaways COVID-19 has resulted in a higher concentration of sanitizing products being used on aircraft. The FAA has released special airworthiness information bulletins highlighting the concerns with the application of sanitizers on aircraft. An internal Lectromec study was performed to determine effects of sanitizing fluids on wires. Wire and cable are exposed to a […] Read more