Design of a Brushless PM Starter-Generator for Low-Cost Manufacture and a High-Aspect-Ratio Mechanical Space Envelope

Rafal Wrobel, Nick Simpson, Phil Mellor, James Goss, David Staton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
344 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents the results of a brushless PM starter-generator design which caters for low-cost manufacture and a highly constrained mechanical space-envelope. The startergenerator design addresses the low-cost requirement through the use of aluminium winding conductors and ferrite permanent magnets. This presents several challenges which include, but are not limited to, the selection of an appropriate machine topology to realise a high specific output with the lower performance materials, minimising the power losses associated with the higher resistivity of aluminium and the enhancement of thermal performance. The problem is further exacerbated by the demanding space-envelope, operating requirements and the necessity of 'design for manufacture'. The selection of an appropriate machine topology is paramount in the present application as the limited mechanical space-envelope results in a 'pancake' like geometry in which the aspect ratio of the stator outer diameter to the machine active length is high. To provide a solution satisfying all these challenging design requirements an approach combining the theoretical electromagnetic and thermal analyses together with tests on machine subassemblies has been employed here. Such a method allows for a more informed design process, where the manufacture and assembly nuances affecting the starter-generator's performance are identified and accounted for prior to prototyping of the complete machine assembly. The paper discusses the employed design methodology in detail. A number of machine designs with alternative winding constructions has been considered providing an insight into challenges and limitations for the cost-effective winding construction utilising aluminium conductors. The results from analysis of the starter-generator suggest that the proposed machine design is capable of achieving the design requirements for both continuous and transient operating modes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1048
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number2
Early online date1 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • PM starter-generator
  • design for manufacture
  • design for cost
  • low-cost aluminium winding
  • ferrite PM rotor


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