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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

High Input Voltage Hall Thruster Discharge Converter

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

High Input Voltage Hall Thruster Discharge Converter
The overall scope of this Phase I/II effort is the development of a high efficiency 15kW (nominal) Hall thruster discharge converter. In Phase I, Busek Co. Inc. will design, fabricate and test a nominal 7.5kW breadboard discharge converter module. Busek proposes a converter topolgy called the Leading Edge Auxiliary Phase Shifted (LEAPS) Bridge, which is a modification of the standard phase shifted bridge that uses an energy-recovering auxiliary circuit to force the transition from output inductor freewheel to power flowing through the main transformer. Based on preliminary measurements with this topology the converter module demonstrated >97% efficiency at reduced power. A 300V line input and 300-400V output range are the benchmark for the discharge converter in Phase 1. The most reasonable path with higher input voltage for higher power converters involves the use Wide Band Gap FETs. MOSFETS represent the greatest payoff in terms of efficiency improvements and are a primary focus for a discharge converter to achieve an efficiency of 98% or greater. With the design maturity gained from the Phase I breadboard, the Phase II objective will be the production of a 15kW brassboard PPU in a flight-like form factor that incorporates conductive cooling. More »

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