Electrical Machines for the More Electric Aircraft: Partial Discharges Investigation

Vincenzo Madonna, Paolo Giangrande, Weiduo Zhao, He Zhang, Chris Gerada, Michael Galea

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Modern electrical machines employed in transportation applications are required to provide high performance in terms of power (and torque) density. At the same time, being these applications safety-critical, a significant level of reliability and/or fault tolerance is expected. Among all the factors which can compromise motors reliability, partial discharges (PDs) inception is one of the most crucial, in particular for low voltage, random wound machines. This article presents an extensive experimental investigation on PDs in electrical machines for aerospace applications. Measurements are carried out using both sinusoidal and fast-rising pulses in a representative aerospace environment, emulating the typical ambient conditions encountered throughout a commercial aircraft mission, and beyond (i.e., down to 30 mbar). As a main result of the investigation, it is proved that electrical machines employed for actuating primary flight control surfaces feature a higher risk of PDs inception. Therefore, their insulation system demands an extremely careful design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9302643
Pages (from-to)1389-1398
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Aerospace
  • electrical machines design
  • organic insulation
  • partial discharges (PDs)
  • reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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