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Solar Plane Propulsion Motors With Precompressed Aluminum Stator Windings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Widmer, Chris Spargo, Dr Glynn Atkinson, Professor Barrie Mecrow



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by IEEE, 2014.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This paper reports a propulsion motor for a solar-powered aircraft. The motor uses precompressed aluminum stator windings, with a fill factor of greater than 75%, in a permanent magnet synchronous machine. The motor performance is compared empirically to an identical machine with conventionally wound copper windings. It is shown that there are many advantages to using compressed aluminum windings in terms of weight reduction, thermal improvement, and lower cost, for the same loss and electromagnetic performance, provided a sufficiently high slot fill factor can be achieved. The design and manufacture of the compressed coils is also discussed. A modular stator arrangement is used, in the form of a solid coreback with keyed teeth to allow easy assembly of the compressed windings. It is noted that the electromagnetic performance of the machine is unaffected by the modular nature of the magnetic core. Two prototype motors, one wound with conventional copper and the other with precompressed aluminum windings, are constructed and tested.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Widmer JD, Spargo CM, Atkinson GJ, Mecrow BC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion

Year: 2014

Volume: 29

Issue: 3

Pages: 681-688

Print publication date: 01/09/2014

Online publication date: 18/04/2014

Acceptance date: 20/03/2014

Date deposited: 11/02/2015

ISSN (print): 0885-8969

ISSN (electronic): 1558-0059

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/TEC.2014.2313642


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