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Optimisation of permanent magnet machine topologies suitable for solar powered aircraft

Lookup NU author(s): Sana Ullah, Dr Kia Kimiabeigi, Ben Scholes, Dr Andrew Steven, Dr Rafal Wrobel, Dr James Widmer



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by IEEE, 2018.

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


Electrification of aircraft has become a hot topic in recent years both in civil aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles. The latter domain is gaining in popularity for its high altitude applications, particularly for bringing widespread internet coverage. This paper presents the work done on the optimisation of different types and topologies of permanent magnet electrical machines that can be considered as the main contenders for such application. These topologies consist of both laminated steel core and airgap winding machines. Instead of copper, compressed aluminium windings were considered which will help in reducing the overall mass of the stator. All the topologies were simulated both under take-off and cruise condition. Each machine had to fulfil a certain thermal constraint (current density) before being simulated at cruise condition in order to find the objective function of the final design. The best topology was chosen based on high efficiency in cruise condition with reduced mass.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ullah S, Kimiabeigi M, Scholes B, Steven A, Wrobel R, Davis W, Widmer J

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 2018 XIII International Conference on Electrical Machines (ICEM)

Year of Conference: 2018

Pages: 332-338

Online publication date: 25/10/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 05/10/2018

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/ICELMACH.2018.8507220