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Published in IET Electric Power Applications
Received on 21st September 2010
Revised on 15th August 2011
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

ISSN 1751-8660

Hybrid excitation synchronous generators for
island operation
K. Kamiev1 J. Nerg1 J. Pyrho¨nen1 V. Zaboin2 V. Hrabovcova´3 P. Rafajdus3
1

LUT-Energy, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, Lappeenranta 53851, Finland
Department of Electrical Machines, Saint-Petersburg State Polytechnic University, St. Petersburg, Russia
3
Department of Power Electrical Systems, University of Zˇilina, Zˇilina, Slovakia
E-mail: janne.nerg@lut.fi
2

Abstract: Hybrid excitation synchronous machines (HESMs), which combine the best features of traditional electrically excited
synchronous machines (SMs) and permanent magnet synchronous machines (PMSMs), are investigated. Such machines provide
energy efficiency benefits over traditional field-winding-excited machines, especially in the lower power region upto a few
megawatts. This paper studies the applicability of a hybrid excitation synchronous generator (HESG) to a marine diesel
genset. Three HESG structures are proposed, and their performance in island operation are studied by the two-dimensional
(2D) finite-element analysis. Comparison of the proposed constructions is performed.

1

Introduction

Because of their high energy efficiency, permanent magnet
synchronous generators (PMSGs) are nowadays an
attractive choice in distributed power generation. For
example in moderate-size power marine diesel gensets, the
electrical efficiency of PMSGs may be several percents
higher compared with traditional electrically excited
synchronous generators (SGs).
However, PMSGs have also some disadvantages. The main
drawback of the permanent magnet (PM) machines is that
they do not include excitation control, and therefore voltage
regulation in island operation is problematic. The PM
remanent flux density also decreases as the temperature
increases, which further complicates the voltage control.
Other disadvantages related to the PMs are material price
and PM handling during manufacturing.
In general, a PMSM does not have excitation losses, but
PMs suffer from eddy current losses excited by permeance
and armature harmonics. While the flux regulation
capability of PMs is practically non-existent, a traditionally
excited SM has good field regulation instead, yet it is
characterised by considerable excitation losses, much higher
than the PM eddy current losses.
Attempts to maintain the benefits and to mitigate the
deficiencies of both traditional SMs and permanent magnet
synchronous machines (PMSMs) have led to the invention
of a hybrid generator; an electrical machine with different
excitation sources. In the literature, such machines are
referred to with different names, the most common being ‘a
hybrid excitation synchronous machine (HESM)’ [1 –3],
‘a double excitation synchronous machine (SM)’ [4, 5] or
‘a combined excitation SM’ [6]. The term ‘HESM’ seems
IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1 –11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

to be the most frequent one used in the literature, and is
therefore used also in this paper.
HESMs are a relatively novel class of electrical machines.
Such machines can be used as generators or motors, where the
total rotor current linkage is produced by the simultaneous
action of two different excitation sources: a PM excitation
and a field winding excitation. The target behind the use of
two excitation sources is to combine the advantages of PMexcited machines and wound field SMs. PMs produce the
main excitation flux, while the electrical excitation winding
mainly takes care of the armature reaction compensation.
Owing to PMs, the electrical excitation losses are much
lower than those of SMs with traditional electrical
excitation. If the PM excitation is arranged such that
the machine can run without significant field winding
current at its typical partial load, the machine efficiency
approximately corresponds to the efficiency of the
permanent-magnet-excited machine. In the family of SMs,
HESMs are placed between separately excited SMs and
PMSMs. Further classification of HESMs can be carried out
depending on the factors considered in the following.
From the magnetic circuit point of view, depending on how
the excitation sources are combined, HESMs or their different
magnetic circuits can be divided into the following two
groups [2]:
1. Series hybrid excitation,
2. Parallel hybrid excitation.
Examples of series and parallel HESMs with twodimensional (2D) radial flux paths are presented in Fig. 1.
In the first group, the PMs and excitation coils are
connected in series, and the flux produced by the electrical
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Fig. 1 Examples of series and parallel HESMs with 2D radial flux paths
a and b Series hybrid excitation (in b partly parallel)
c and d Parallel hybrid excitation
Solid lines correspond to the magnetic flux paths resulting from the PM excitation, and the dotted lines indicate an electrical excitation

excitation passes through the PMs. Since the permeability of
PMs is close to that of air (a typical value for NdFeB
mr ¼ 1.04), it is difficult to change the air gap flux density
and therefore the PM excitation should produce a no-load
voltage within the standard limits.
In the second group, the path of the PM excitation flux
differs from the flux path produced by the excitation
winding. In contrast to the series HESM, the parallel
HESMs have more flux weakening capability and allow a
wider variety of structures.
The fluxes in the series HESMs always pass through the
PMs, which considerably affects the total reluctance of the
magnetic circuit. Owing to the low relative permeability of
modern PM-materials, the equivalent air gap length is
significant; therefore in series HESMs, the synchronous
inductance Ld should be smaller than that of parallel
HESMs. Series connection, in comparison with the parallel
connection, is simpler and because of the low synchronous
inductance, its armature reaction is small making it possible
to start the armature reaction compensation later if the noload voltage is set to the upper limit (U ¼ 1.1 p.u.) allowed
by the standards. A parallel connection from the
electromagnet side is effective if the voltage really has to be
changed, but from the design point of view, the task is
more complex.
According to the behaviour of the magnetic flux, the
HESMs can be radial, axial or a combination of these two.
Because of its complexity, the last group belongs to the
parallel hybrid excitation group.
There are various implementation methods of HESMs. The
excitation winding can be placed either in the rotor as in the
PMs, which requires slip rings and brushes, or in the stator,
thereby leading to different constructions. The classification
of HESMs based on the location of the excitation windings
and the PMs is shown in Fig. 2. This paper, however,
studies only radial flux machines with 2D flux paths. In
these constructions, the PMs and the excitation coils are
placed in the rotor.
For example [7] studies a SynPM machine, where both the
excitation sources are placed in the rotor. The machine has
four PM poles and two field winding poles. By adjusting
the excitation current, the machine changes not only the
total air gap flux but also gradually the rotor pole number
from six to two. This does not, however, affect the stator
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Fig. 2 Classification of HESMs based on the location of the
excitation windings (EWs) and the PMs

frequency as the stator reacts only to the correct rotorcaused harmonic. The excitation sources are connected in
parallel. The PM has two different flux paths so that one
passes the adjacent PM and the other passes through the
other adjacent, electrically excited pole. The flux of the
electrical excitation is circulated between two field windings
in the case where the pole pair number p is odd. The fluxes
produced by PMs and DC field windings are radial fluxes.
Another possible construction termed ‘a consequent pole
PM hybrid excitation machine’ is studied in [8]. The
machine consists of a rotor divided into two sections. One
section has rotor surface PMs that are radially excited, and
the other has a laminated iron pole. The stator is composed
of a laminated core, solid iron yoke and a conventional AC
three-phase winding located in the slots. A circumferential
field winding is placed in the middle of the stator that is
excited by a DC current. The magnetic paths of the two
excitation sources are relatively independent. The two
excitation sources are in parallel.
Because of their special configuration and operation
principle, HESMs have potential to be used in such
applications where conventional SMs or PMSMs do not
satisfy all the desired requirements (efficiency, machine size
limitations, etc.). In this paper, a hybrid excitation
synchronous generator (HESG) is studied with respect to its
applicability to a marine diesel genset. The contribution of
this paper is to propose a solution where an HESM replaces
an SM in ship electrical power generation and meets all the
requirements set by the classification societies, particularly
in island operation. Three different 8-pole HESG topologies
that fulfil all the requirements in island operation are
IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1– 11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

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introduced and their performances are compared applying 2D
finite-element analysis (FEA).
The paper is organised as follows: The problems faced by
traditional solutions (PMSGs and conventional SGs) in island
operation are discussed in Section 2. The structures and
operation principle of the proposed generators are presented
in Section 3. The performance of the proposed generators in
island operation is studied by the 2D-FEA, see Section 4
and their comparison is performed in Section 5.
This paper is an extension of [9]. Two more HESM
topologies meeting the boundary conditions set by marine
classification societies are proposed, and their performance
is studied in detail. The paper does not present detailed
experimental results as we have not yet had an opportunity
to build a 500 kW machine prototype. The authors,
however, have a lot of experience in the design and testing
of machines of different sizes upto several MW in power
[10 – 17]. In these designs, the calculation methods used
have proven to demonstrate satisfactory conformity with
practical results.

2

In distributed power generation and island operation, the
generator must be capable of island operation. The main
boundary conditions set for instance by IEC for a SG
operating in an AC island are: (i) The peak torque of the
machine must be at least 160% of the rated torque. (ii) The
terminal voltage must not vary more than +10% of the
rated voltage during operation at any load within the
generator rated working area. (iii) The sustained shortcircuit current must be 300% of the rated current for at least
2 s. (iv) The generator must be capable of supplying
inductive loads with a load power factor cos w ¼ 0.8ind ,
which results in a large demagnetising armature reaction
and finally (v) the machine must have efficient damper
windings to operate in parallel with other similar generators.
As the internal voltage EPM of a PMSG cannot be
controlled and it is affected by the operating temperature,
PMSGs equipped with a damper winding are normally used
only in rigid networks, which maintain the voltage
irrespective of the behaviour of the PMSG. In such a case,
only the 160% torque requirement limits the machine
design unless the machine reactive power is limited
somehow. Such PM machines are lightweight and
economically competitive. If the reactive power of such a
PMSG must be kept at a low level, the size of the generator
has to be increased or the generator main transformer must
have a tap changer to control the terminal voltage and
hence, the reactive power.
In island operation, especially in ships, a PMSG has to
meet all the above-mentioned boundary conditions. One of
the most challenging requirements is the 300% sustained
short-circuit current, which, in the case of a PMSG, cannot
be reached by increasing the excitation but has to be
achieved by a small enough synchronous inductance.
According to equation
EPM
Ld

(p.u.)

(1)

the sustained short-circuit current Isc depends on the induced
voltage EPM and the direct-axis synchronous inductance
Ld . The synchronous inductance consists mainly of the
IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1 –11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

Lm = m0

m 2 tp ′
l · (kw1 Ns )2
p2 p deff

(2)

Here m0 is the permeability of vacuum, m is the number of
phases, deff is the effective air gap, tp is the pole pitch, p is
the pole pair number, l ′ is the effective length of the
machine and kw1Ns is the effective number of turns in series
per stator winding. The air gap voltage of the machine Em is
1
ˆ
Em = √ vkw1 Ns F
h
2

(3)

where v is the electrical angular frequency. The amplitude of
ˆ is
the air gap flux of the machine F
h
ˆ =
F
h 

tp l′
0

(Bˆ d ) dx dy

(4)

0

where Bˆ d is the amplitude of the air gap flux density. The
number of turns required can be written as

Generators in island operation

Isc =

magnetising inductance, which can be written as [12]

√
√
Em 2
Em 2
=
Ns =
ˆ
vkw1 ai Bˆ d tp l′
vkw F
h

(5)

where kw1 is the winding factor and ai is the factor of the
arithmetic average of the flux density. Inserting this into (2)
gives
Lm = m0

√ 2 

m2 1
Em 2
·
k
w1
p2 p deff tp l′
vkw1 ai Bˆ d

(6)

The pole pitch of the machine is

tp =

pD
2p

(7)

where D is the air gap diameter. Equation (6) is rewritten with
(7) as 
√2
m
4
Em 2
Lm = m0 2
′ ·
p deff pDl
vai Bˆ d

(8)

As it can be seen in (8), the magnetising inductance with a
constant voltage and phase number is minimised by
selecting a large effective air gap deff , a large diameter D or
a large effective length l ′ for the machine. Maximising the
air gap flux density Bd also has a clear effect but the air gap
flux density usually remains within quite tight limits. As an
example, increasing the air gap flux density fundamental
amplitude from 0.8 T to 1 T reduces the magnetising
inductance by 36% as the number of winding turns is
simultaneously reduced by 20%.
Fig. 3 illustrates two PMSGs that meet all the aforementioned
boundary conditions. A non-salient pole PMSG is considered
in Fig. 3a, and a salient pole PMSG is observed in Fig. 3b.
Fig. 3a studies how large a non-salient pole PMSG has to be
in order to be capable of supplying the rated load without
excitation control. When EPM ¼ 1.1 p.u. and the rated power
factor is cos w ¼ 0.8ind , the synchronous inductance Ls should
equal 0.15 p.u. to reach Us ¼ 1 p.u. at the rated operating
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Fig. 3 Phasor diagrams of two PMSGs meeting the boundary conditions at the rated operating point
a Non-salient pole PMSG
b Salient pole PMSG
The non-salient pole PMSG is larger than normal ones. The generator no-load voltage is EPM ¼ 1.1 p.u., the power factor is cos w ¼ 0.8ind and the generator rated
voltage Us and the current Is are equal to 1 p.u. According to the phasor diagram, the synchronous inductance Ls is equal to 0.15 p.u. and the load angle is d ¼ 6.68.
This machine meets the requirements given above but the machine is large and expensive. The parameters for the salient pole PMSG are: the power factor
cos w ¼ 0.8ind , the generator rated voltage Us and the current Is are equal to 1 p.u, the d-axis magnetising inductance is 0.27 p.u, the q-axis magnetising
inductance equals 0.51 p.u., and the stator leakage inductance is equal to 0.1 p.u. According to the phasor diagram, the generator no-load voltage should be
EPM ¼ 1.26 p.u. and the load angle is d ¼ 208. This generator does not meet the voltage range condition as the no-load voltage is higher than 1.1 p.u

point. To achieve the rated apparent power S ¼ 1 p.u., the
voltage is set to Us ¼ 1 p.u. in both PMSGs. With this
synchronous inductance value, also the short-circuit
requirement Isc ¼ EPM/Ls ¼ 7.3 p.u. . 3 p.u. is met more
than amply but the main dimensions of this machine should
be greatly overdimensioned according to (8). For example, if
other values are kept constant, Dl ′ must be large compared
with a machine that does not meet the requirements.
According to the short-circuit requirement, the synchronous
inductance could be as large as Ls ¼ EPM/Isc ¼ 1.1/
3 ¼ 0.37 p.u. In this machine, Dl ′ is only 0.15/0.37 ¼ 0.405
of the Dl ′ of the previous machine. Such a machine will,
however, not meet the voltage requirements at the rated
voltage. In the case of a salient pole pure PMSG (Fig. 3b), the
synchronous inductances in the direct and quadrature axes are
different Ld = Lq . If it is set that a salient pole PM generator
can meet the short-circuit requirement, the d-axis synchronous
inductance should be Ld ¼ EPM/Isc ¼ 1.1/3 ¼ 0.37 p.u.
Normally, the stator leakage inductance Lss is equal to about
0.1 p.u., and in that case, the d-axis magnetising inductance is
Lmd ¼ 0.37 – 0.1 ¼ 0.27 p.u. In general, a salient pole pure
PM machine can have a different ratio of direct and
quadrature axis inductances depending on the purpose of the
machine. For example, a pure PMSM with PMs positioned in
V-shape, which was used as a prototype in [13], has a ratio of
Lq/Ld ¼ 1.64. Then, the q-axis inductance is Lq ¼ Ld
1.64 ¼ 0.61 p.u. and the q-axis magnetising inductance is
Lmq ¼ 0.61– 0.1 ¼ 0.51 p.u. According to the phasor
diagram presented in Fig. 3b, the generator no-load voltage
has to be EPM ¼ 1.26 p.u., which is not in agreement with
the maximum allowed PM generator no-load voltage. If the
generator’s no-load voltage is decreased to 1.1 p.u., the
already small d-axis synchronous inductance should be made
even smaller, thus resulting in a large machine.
We can conclude that a traditional PM generator (whether
non-salient pole or salient pole) that meets all the
requirements faces the following problems:
† to meet all the requirements, a very large machine should
be built or
† there is a need to increase the PM generator no-load voltage
exceeding the maximum allowed value EPM ¼ 1.1 p.u. and
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† the d-axis synchronous inductance Ld must be made
considerably smaller than Ld ¼ 0.6 p.u., which should be
sufficient to meet the 160% torque requirement.
Traditional electrically excited SGs easily meet the
conditions because the field winding current is controllable.
During a short-circuit, the extra field winding current is
supplied by two cascaded excitation generators having a
large voltage reserve for the short-circuit excitation. In
brushed machines, suitable current transformers are used to
supply extra current to the field winding during a short
circuit. Such arrangements guarantee a compact main
generator capable of meeting the boundary conditions
mentioned above. The only problem related to energy
efficiency is that an SG following tightly the five
requirements easily becomes quite a low-efficiency
machine. For example a 500 kW, 400 V SM may have a
rated point efficiency of only 94% [18], while the best
PMSGs of the same power and speed can reach even 98%
because of the large overdimensioning.
Sufficient voltage stability in PMSGs can, hence, be reached
by overdimensioning the PM generator. Normal variation in
the manufacturing and materials may, however, result in a
generator that does not meet the voltage condition despite large
machine size. The temperature dependency of the PM material
makes the situation even more challenging. One problem
still remains: the machine does not tolerate a capacitive load at
low power because the voltage should increase above the
accepted values. Capacitive loads in islands are, however, rare
and can be present, in practice, only by accident for instance
when a compensator capacitor bank control fails.
The problems mentioned above can be avoided in island
operation by utilising an HESM as a generator. The HESM
is built by using PM poles and poles with a traditional field
winding combining the best features of the PMSG and the
SG. PM poles provide constant air gap flux density, and
electrically excited poles act as the flux regulators to adjust
the air gap flux density and the total amount of flux. During
the operation, the air gap flux can be increased or reduced
by adjusting the magnitude and direction of the excitation
current in the field winding.

IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1– 11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

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Next, three different structures of the HESG are proposed
and their performances are studied by a 2D FEA.

3 Structures and operation principle of the
proposed generators
The design specifications for the HESG are presented in Table 1.
The proposed HESGs consist of identical laminated stator iron
cores, which are used in conventional electrically excited
SMs. The stators carry traditional AC three-phase armature
windings. The rotor iron cores contain PMs and electric
excitation coils. The proposed HESGs use the same electric
excitation system as in conventional electrically excited SMs.
The cross-section views of the 6 – 2 HESG, 4 – 4 HESG and
8 – 8 HESG are shown in Fig. 4. The 6 – 2 HESG has three
pairs of PM poles and one pair of electrically excited poles.
In such a construction, the stator armature reaction cannot
Table 1

Design specifications of HESGs

Parameter
phase number, m
nominal power, Pn
nominal voltage, Un
nominal current, In
power factor, cos w
rotation speed, n
frequency, f
number of pole pairs, p

Value

Unit

3
520 000
450/260
833
0.8ind
900
60
4


W
V
A

rpm
Hz

be compensated pole by pole and therefore the flux of the
field excitation poles must really be altered to have an
overall compensation of the armature reaction. The 4 –4
HESG has two pairs of PM poles and two pairs of
electrically excited poles. In this case, each pole pair has
both excitation sources, and therefore it is possible to
evenly compensate the stator armature reaction. The 8 – 8
HESG has four pairs of PM and electrically excited poles,
and the armature reaction compensation takes place at every
pole. In the 6 – 2 and 4 – 4 HESGs, two PMs per pole are
embedded in the V position. In the case of the 8 – 8 HESG,
the PMs are embedded in the pole shoe leaving some space
for the iron bridge. Because of the centrifugal force, some
stresses affect upon the iron bridges. If these stresses are
higher than the yield strength of the material, the iron
bridges may break. Taking into account the mechanical
aspects, the iron bridges in the 8 – 8 HESG must be selected
to be equal to 3 mm.
The magnetic paths of all the proposed constructions are
quite similar. The magnetic path of the PM flux is the
following: from the N pole of the PM  PM pole
body  air gap  stator tooth  stator yoke  stator
tooth  air gap  PM/EW pole body  the S pole of the
neighbour PM/own pole to form a loop as shown in Fig. 4d
for the 4 –4 HESG. The magnetic flux path caused by the
electric excitation is the following: from the pole of the
electric excitation  the S pole of the neighbour PM  PM
pole  air gap  stator tooth  stator yoke  stator
tooth  air gap  the electrically excited pole to form a
loop as shown in Fig. 4d for the 4 – 4 HESG. If the current is
equal to zero, there is only the PM field and no excitation field.

Fig. 4 Structures of the proposed constructions
a
b
c
d

6– 2 HESG
4– 4 HESG
8 –8 HESG
Magnetic paths of the fluxes produced by PMs (solid lines) and excitation coils (dotted lines) for the 4– 4 HESG

IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1 –11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

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Table 2

Main geometry data

Parameter

6 –2

4– 4

8–8

air gap diameter, Ds (mm)
length, l (mm)
air gap length, d (mm)
number of stator slots, Qs
number of slots per pole and phase, q
number of phase turns, Nph
number of PMs per pole
number of excitation field turns per pole, Nf

760
370
5
48
2
16
2
500

760
385
5
48
2
16
2
500

760
422
5
48
2
16
1
280

The dimensioning of the proposed HESGs and the field
windings is carried out so that at no load the field winding
current is equal to zero, and only PM excitation exists. At
the rated operation, the field winding current is positive.
During a short circuit, the field winding currents are also
positive to ensure the sufficient short-circuit current. The
possible field weakening operation is not used in this study
unless the no-load voltage is reduced from 1.1 to 1.
By a proper connection of the stator windings, the total
induced EMF in the armature winding E is equal to the sum
of the EMF caused by the PM flux EPM and EMF resulting
from the excitation flux Ef , that is
E = Ef + EPM

(9)

Equation (9) shows that the EMF is adjusted by the EMF
resulting from electrical excitation, controlled by the
excitation current if , which can be also negative to weaken
the PM-produced flux. Ef and EPM are, however, not
independent of each other as the magnetic circuits of the
PM fluxes and field-winding-produced fluxes are partly the
same. Hence, (9) may only be used as a symbolic equation
to describe the HESG behaviour.
The proposed constructions of HESGs belong to the group
of the series hybrid excitation where the magnetic paths
produced by the excitation coils pass through the PMs. The
main dimensions of the proposed HESGs are shown in
Table 2. Such constructions are criticised by the fact that
the field winding excitation has to excite the machine
through PM poles, which should be difficult. However, the
issue has to be considered further. Also the armature
reaction in these versions has to travel through the PM
material. This results in a low inductance and low armature
reaction. Actually, in correctly designed HESGs the
excitation current in the rotor is needed only to compensate
the armature reaction and not to control the air gap flux
density. As the armature reaction is distributed to every pole
and the compensating EWs are used, in the 6 – 2 and 4 – 4
constructions, only at some of the poles, the observation is
not very straightforward and has to be carried out by FEA.
Analytical calculations can easily be made for machines
having a symmetrical arrangement of PM and EW poles (in
this case the 4 – 4 and 8 – 8 machines) but machines having
unsymmetrical arrangements (in this study the 6 – 2
machine) are difficult to be modelled by analytical equations.

4

three tests, the no-load, rated operation and short-circuit
tests are carried out. All the calculations have been
performed using the 2D time stepping FEA.
4.1

Synchronous inductances

In this test, the flux linkages are determined by Flux-2D for
the d- and q-axes at different stator current values. Ld is
calculated by aligning the rotor d-axis along the axis of the
phase A. Similarly, Lq is calculated by aligning the phase
axis with the rotor q-axis. The stator current linkage is
aligned along the d- and q-axes, by injecting maximum
current amplitude into the phase A. The currents in the
phases B and C are opposite and equal to half of the
maximum magnitude injected in the phase A. The
magnitudes of these currents are varied accordingly to
investigate their influence on both inductances. The
inductance can be written as
Ld,q =

Cd,q
is

(10)

Fig. 5 depicts the synchronous inductances calculated in the
d- and q-axes positions. The 8 – 8 HESG has the lowest
d-axis synchronous inductance compared with the 6 – 2 and
4 – 4 HESGs. This is explained by the rotor configuration.
Different from the 6 – 2 and 4 – 4 HESGs, the armature
reaction in the 8 – 8 HESG travels through the PM material
in every pole.
4.2

No-load test

Despite the fact that the electrical excitation in these designs
is needed only to compensate the armature reaction, no-load
tests were performed. In the no-load test, the rotor of the
generator is rotated at the nominal speed and the electrical
excitation is changed. Each phase of the generator outputs
is connected to a resistance load, which has a high enough
value to imitate an open circuit. The objective of the noload test is to see the voltage across the resistive load,
which is the induced phase voltage. Fig. 6 illustrates the noload flux lines with positive and zero field currents of the
proposed constructions. The fundamental components of
the air gap flux density distributions of the 6 – 2 HESG and

Finite-element analysis

To verify the operation of the proposed HESGs, four different
tests are performed applying the Flux-2D software package
by Cedrat Ltd. In the first test, the synchronous inductances
are calculated for different stator current values. In the last
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Fig. 5 Synchronous inductances as a function of stator current in
different HESM designs
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Fig. 6 No-load flux lines of the proposed constructions
a– c 6 –2 HESG, 4– 4 HESG and 8 –8 HESG with positive currents, respectively
d– f 6– 2 HESG, 4–4 HESG and 8 –8 HESG with zero field currents, respectively

4 – 4 HESG are given in Table 3. The air gap flux density
distributions of the 8 – 8 HESG are shown in Fig. 7.
Fig. 6 shows that from the electromagnetic point of view,
the 4 – 4 HESG and 8 – 8 HESG remain symmetrical at
different rotor current linkages. Therefore modelling only a
quarter of the rotor (two poles) or one-eighth (one pole)
should be enough; this in turn will decrease the calculation
time. Such symmetricity also leads to easy analytic
calculation of the machines. In the case of the 6 – 2 HESG
when there is zero excitation current, the symmetry goes
only through half of the model, which allows analysing
only half of the generator in the FEA. Such a construction
also sets some limitations to the stator winding
arrangements. The asymmetry of flux lines per pole in
Fig. 6d makes the design process of the 6 – 2 HESG more
difficult compared with the 4 – 4 and 8– 8 HESGs. There are
two relatively different magnetic circuits in the 6 – 2 HESG.
The first magnetic circuit consists of the electrically excited
and neighbouring PM poles. The second magnetic circuit
includes pure PM poles. Both magnetic circuits should be
included in the design procedure.
Because of the special rotor structures of the 6 – 2 and 4 – 4
HESGs, the air gap flux densities across the PM poles are
different from the air gap flux densities across the
electrically excited poles. Moreover, in the 6 – 2 HESG, the
Table 3

Fundamental components of the air gap flux densities
at three different total current linkages for the 6 –2 HESG and 4–4
HESG
Pole

6 –2 HESG
PM poles
electrically excited pole
4 –4 HESG
PM pole
electrically excited pole

B1d , T at
Qf ¼ 40 kA

B1d , T at
Qf ¼ 0 A

B1d , T at
Qf ¼ 25 kA

1.25/1.19
1.14

1.16/1.24
0.6

1.11/1.26
0.33

1.24
1.03

1.16
0.81

1.13
0.73

IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1 –11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

Fig. 7 Air gap flux density distributions for the 8–8 HESG at
three different field currents: positive DC, If ¼ 20 A/pole, zero
DC, If ¼ 0 A and negative DC, If ¼ –2.23 A/pole
Fundamental components are 1.04 T, 0.9 T and 0.88 T, respectively

air gap flux density across the PM pole that is close to the
electrically excited pole is distinct from the another PM
pole close to it. That is why in Table 3 there are two values
for the PM poles in the case of the 6 – 2 HESG. The first
value corresponds to the PM pole that is close to the
electrically excited pole, and the second one is for the PM
pole next to it.
Despite the original purpose of the armature reaction
compensation according to Table 3 and Fig. 7, the air gap
flux densities effectively change as the electrical excitation
current varies. The fundamental components of the air gap
flux densities of the 6 – 2 HESG and 4 – 4 HESG, especially
under PM poles, seem somewhat higher than the common
values (0.85 – 1.1 T). Nevertheless, the normal components
of the flux densities in the stator teeth and yoke are within
acceptable limits to avoid saturation. The fundamental
components of the air gap flux densities of the 8 – 8 HESG
7

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are close to the common values compared with the 6 – 2
HESG and 4 – 4 HESG. Table 3 and Fig. 7 demonstrate the
operation principle of the proposed HESGs: the PM source
provides the air gap with a constant flux, and the excitation
winding acts as the flux regulator to adjust the air gap flux
distribution and the total amount of flux.
Fig. 8 presents a no-load generator voltage as a function of
electrical excitation. When there is a positive DC current in
the excitation winding, it increases the rotor excitation, and
the RMS value of the induced phase voltage increases
compared with the induced phase voltage corresponding to
a zero excitation current. According to Fig. 8, the variation
ranges (with respect to the rated 260 V or 1 p.u.) of the
induced phase voltages at the total current linkage of 40 kA
reach +28, +26 and +24.5% for the 6– 2, 4– 4 and 8 – 8
HESGs, respectively. When the DC excitation current is
negative, it weakens the excitation and the RMS value of
the induced phase voltage decreases with respect to the case
of no electric excitation current. Effective variation in the
magnitude of the induced EMF results in effective control
of the output voltage. As it can be seen in Fig. 8, at the
zero excitation current linkage, the induced voltages of the

Fig. 8 No-load generator voltage as a function of electrical
excitation current linkages
Machines saturate at no load under positive field winding excitation

6 – 2 and 8 – 8 HESGs are 1.09 p.u., and the induced voltage
of the 4 – 4 HESG is equal to 1.1 p.u. According to the
boundary conditions, the generator voltage must be kept
between +10% in all cases. Therefore working without
electrical excitation in low-load operations would be
optimal for the proposed HESGs thereby preventing rotor
excitation losses.
4.3

Rated operation test

In this test, the generator is rotated at the nominal speed, and
it supplies an inductive load with a load power factor
cos w ¼ 0.8ind . All tests start when there is no electrical
excitation in the HESGs and continue upto 50, 30 and 30 A
field current in the 6 – 2, 4 – 4 and 8 –8 HESGs, respectively.
In terms of the total current linkage, the tests are carried out
from 0 A upto 50, 60 and 67.2 kA for the 6 – 2, 4 –4 and
8 – 8 HESGs, respectively. The current linkage is at its rated
value when the generator voltage is equal to 1 p.u. During
the test voltage, the stator current and power are observed.
Generator voltages as a function of electrical excitation and
power as a function of electrical excitation are presented in
Fig. 9.
Fig. 9a shows that all machines need some positive
excitation to maintain at least 90% of the terminal voltage:
the 6 – 2 HESG needs 4.5 kA current linkage at each wound
pole and 9 kA in all at two poles (SQf6-2 ¼ 9 kA), the 4 – 4
HESG requires 4 kA per wound pole, which results in
16 kA in all at four wound poles (SQf4 – 4 ¼ 16 kA) and the
8 – 8 HESG needs 1.25 kA per wound pole and 10 kA in
total (SQf8 – 8 ¼ 10 kA). Without any electrical excitation,
the 6– 2, 4 – 4 and 8 – 8 HESGs give 314, 306 and 379 kW
to the cos w ¼ 0.8ind rated impedance at 0.79, 0.79 and
0.86 per unit voltages, see Fig. 9b. As the compensating
rotor currents are located symmetrically in the 8 –8 and 4 – 4
constructions, the extra field winding currents keep the
machine operation quite linear as the load increases and the
field current increases. However, the 6– 2 machine has only
two wound poles being capable of compensating the
armature reaction, and Fig. 9b shows that the capability of
the two wound poles to compensate the armature reaction
of all eight stator poles saturates. However, the construction
is well capable of operating upto the rated point and even
to some extent beyond it. To reach the desired rated

Fig. 9 Results of the rated operation test; the HESGs supply inductive loads with a load power factor cos w ¼ 0.8ind producing rated
operation at U ¼ 1 p.u
a Generator voltage as a function of electrical excitation
b Power as a function of electrical excitation
8

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IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1– 11
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www.ietdl.org
operating point, the 6 – 2 and 8 – 8 HESGs need almost an
equal total current linkage (SQf ¼ 40 kA) and the 4 – 4
HESG needs 30 kA.
The efficiencies and loss divisions as well as the power
density of different machine types at the rated operation are
given in Table 4.
The 6– 2 HESG suffers from the limited wound space in
the rotor, and therefore the excitation losses are higher than
in the 4 – 4 and 8 – 8 HESGs. However, the machine has the
highest power density.
4.4

Table 5

Results of the short-circuit test

Parameter

6– 2

4–4

8– 8

E0 , V
Isc , A
Qf , A/pole
xd , V

334
2873
21000
0.12

329
2551
10625
0.13

296.7
2692
1400
0.11

Minimum short-circuit current must be three times the nominal
current, 3In ¼ 3 × 833 ¼ 2499 A

Short-circuit test

The short-circuit test is carried out to check whether the shortcircuit requirement mentioned in the boundary conditions is
met: the sustained short-circuit current must be 300% of the
rated current for at least 2 s. This condition is one of
the most challenging requirements for pure PMSGs. During
the test, the generator is rotated at the nominal speed, and
all three output phases are short-circuited through switches.
At the beginning, the switches are turned off and the
generator is running at no load. After 0.0333 s (two
periods), the switches are turned on. The objective of the
test is to observe the sustained short-circuit current.
As an example of the short-circuit test results, Fig. 10
presents the short-circuit current of the 6 – 2 HESG as a
function of time. With 6– 2 and 4 – 4 HESGs, the shortcircuit requirement is met when the excitation current
linkages are equal to 21 000 A/pole and 10 625 A/pole,
which corresponds to 42 and 21.25 A field winding
currents, respectively. The corresponding current densities
in the excitation windings are 5.6 and 2.83 A/mm2. The
Table 4

Efficiencies, loss divisions and power densities of
different machine types at rated operation
Parameter, W
mechanical losses
iron losses, W
stator copper losses, W
rotor copper losses, W
additional losses, W
total losses, W
efficiency, %
power density, kW/m3

6 –2 HESG

4– 4 HESG

8 – 8 HESG

5144
2500
3496
7000
2600
20 740
96.16
1995

5284
2360
3568
2014
2600
15 827
97.05
1904

5631
2532
3749
3197
2600
17 709
96.71
1802

8 – 8 HESG meets the short-circuit requirement at 1400 A/
pole current linkage, which corresponds to 5 A field
winding current and 0.67 A/mm2 current density. It should
be noted that in the case of the 6 – 2 and 8 – 8 HESGs, the
short-circuit requirement is met at the rated current linkage,
whereas for the 4 – 4 HESG, some extra (beyond rated
value) current linkage is needed. The results of the shortcircuit test of the proposed HESGs and the calculations of
the d-axis synchronous reactances are given in Table 5.
The results of the short-circuit test fully demonstrate that all
the proposed HESGs can meet the short-circuit requirement.
In the case of a sudden short circuit, no extra excitation
current is needed for the 6 – 2 and 8 – 8 HESGs, which in
turn provides an option to avoid an extra control unit.

5

Comparison of the proposed constructions

The results of the FEA thoroughly verify the operation
principle of the proposed HESGs. All three constructions
can work without electrical excitation in no-load operation,
while in the rated operation they can supply inductive loads
with a load power factor cos w ¼ 0.8ind at a lower voltage
(see Fig. 9), and during the short circuit, they all can meet
the short-circuit requirement. Comparison of the masses of
the proposed generators is shown in Table 6.
According to Table 6, the total masses of all HESGs are
close to each other. However, the PM and rotor copper
masses are different. In general, the PM material is the most
expensive component in an electrical machine. Therefore
considering the machine cost, the 4 – 4 HESG seems the
best one of the versions studied.
Fig. 11 shows a comparison of the calculated efficiencies of
the proposed constructions. The efficiencies are calculated
based on the results of the rated operation test, that is, all
the HESGs supply inductive loads with a load power factor
cos w ¼ 0.8ind , and the electrical excitation is varied. At the
nominal power, the efficiency of the 6 – 2 HESG is 96.16%,
the 4 – 4 HESG has 97.05% and the 8 – 8 HESG has
96.71%, respectively (see Table 4). These values are
definitely higher than the efficiencies of the SGs having the
same nominal power. By efficiency, the 4 – 4 and 8 – 8
HESGs can compete with a pure PMSG with the same
Table 6

Fig. 10 Short-circuit current of the 6–2 HESG as a function of
time
IET Electr. Power Appl., 2012, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, pp. 1 –11
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2010.0226

Active mass comparison

Masses, kg

6–2

4–4

8– 8

PM
rotor iron
stator iron
rotor copper
stator copper
total

108
734
976
84
283
2185

87
748
1021
172
287
2314

128
681
1101
204
297
2411

9

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excited poles. After 550 kW the 4 – 4 HESG has the highest
power density.
Considering manufacturing of the proposed constructions,
the stators of the proposed machines are the same except
the length of the machines, the only difference lying in the
rotor fabrication, in particular in the installation of poles. In
the case of the 6 – 2 HESG and 4 – 4 HESG, the installation
of poles should not pose any major problems; the poles can
be mounted on the rotor yoke with bolts going through the
holes between two adjacent PMs.
Based on the above comparisons, the 4– 4 and 8 – 8 HESGs
look more attractive from the design, manufacturing and
economic points of view. Of course, the 6 – 2 HESG has
only two wound poles, which is also a favourable factor.

6
Fig. 11 Comparison of efficiencies of the proposed HESGs

Fig. 12 Power densities as a function of HESG powers

power rate. From 375 kW up to 490 kW, the 6 – 2 HESG has a
higher efficiency than the two others. After 490 kW, the
efficiency of the 6 – 2 HESG decreases rapidly. This is
explained by the saturation of the electrically excited poles.
The dominating factor influencing the efficiency differences
is the electrical excitation loss. The 6 – 2 HESG requires a
higher amount of excitation current to compensate the
armature reaction, roughly two times as high as the 4 – 4
and 8 – 8 HESGs. At the rated operating point, the 6 – 2
HESG needs 42 A field winding current, whereas the 4 – 4
and 8– 8 HESGs require 15.75 and 18.25 A, respectively.
At no electrical excitation, the 4 – 4 HESG gives the lowest
output power. The 8 –8 HESG at no electric excitation
gives the highest efficiency since it works as a pure PMSG.
The 4 – 4 and 8 – 8 HESGs should perform better in practice
because they have quite high efficiencies upto the rated point.
The calculated power densities against machine powers of
the proposed HESGs are shown in Fig. 12. Without electrical
excitation, the 8 – 8 HESG has the highest power density since
it produces the highest power (see Fig. 8), and the 4 – 4 HESG
has the lowest power density because of the low power (see
Fig. 9b). When the current linkage in all HESGs increases,
the power density of the 6 – 2 HESG becomes higher than
that of the 4 – 4 and 8 – 8 HESGs. Close to the rated current
linkage, the power density increase of the 6 – 2 HESG
decelerates as a result of the saturation of the electrically
10

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Conclusions

New 500 kW, 60 Hz versions of a novel type of an electrical
machine, a HESM, were introduced. These kinds of machines
are designed for generator use in island conditions. The
feasibility of HESGs in island operation was shown by an
FEA. Three possible HESG structures were proposed and
their performances were studied by a 2D FEA. A
comparison of the proposed constructions was made.
Based on the results of the FEA simulations, all three
proposed HESGs can meet the marine application
conditions set by classification societies, that is, the
generator voltage must remain within +10% at all loads,
the generator sustainable short-circuit current must be three
times the rated current for at least 2 s and the generator
must be capable of supplying inductive loads with
cos w ¼ 0.8ind .
It should be noted that the machine type needs either slip
rings and brushes or brushless excitation systems. Since the
structure and the operation principle resemble PMSMs as
the PM poles still produce large enough air gap flux density
even without electrical excitation, the maintenance of
brushes should not pose a significant problem as it would
for the conventional electrically excited SMs. In emergency
cases, the machines work satisfactorily without any
excitation current but at a lower voltage, see Fig. 9.

7

Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the Academy of Finland.

8

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