The IDEN project will bring improvements to both the conversion and the efficient distribution of power within the aircraft


The progressive electrification of aircraft gives rise to a series of challenges that add to the usual challenge of reducing weight, increasing reliability, lowering maintenance costs and decreasing the emission of pollutants. The IDEN project, funded by the European CleanSky2 program, will bring improvements to both the conversion and the efficient distribution of power within the aircraft. The aim is to build a highly flexible and efficient network that is able generate, convert and distribute electricity as well as intelligently manage the increasingly numerous electrical systems present in an aircraft.

This breakthrough will make it possible to design and develop an innovative on-board electrical distribution network that is based on state-of-the-art power semiconductors that allow flexible, efficient and smart load management. The result of the project will be validated in the IronBird test bench, which simulates the electrical distribution in an aircraft as well as the various electrical sources and loads that are present (aeronautical generators, electro-mechanical systems, energy storage systems, etc.). This will ensure that the network operates correctly and is more energy efficient and that the smart energy management system functions properly under various operating conditions. The overall aim is to preclude situations that may result in cuts to the supply of electricity in the airplane's electrical network.

Ceit-IK4's role in the project is to focus on generation and control in the main high-voltage power bus in IDEN's electrical distribution system using the aircraft's electric generators. The high- and low-voltage distribution systems developed by the consortium use this bus to intelligently connect any energy source to any load that is present in the aircraft.

In addition to Ceit-Ik4, the IDEN project consortium, includes the Italian company BLU Electronic and the University of Nottingham in the UK, both of which have extensive experience in the aeronautical sector, and Leonardo, the project's commercial partner.