For power generation purposes, wound-field synchronous generators are often preferred to permanent magnet machines, due to the need of controlling the field winding voltage and current for guaranteeing a constant voltage at the generator's armature terminals. In a traditional generating set, this function is accomplished by a relatively complex feedback control system which typically comprises an excitation system and an automatic voltage regulator. Due to their excellent and proven performance capability, such classical generating sets have seen only strictly incremental improvements in the last 60 years or so. However, today, there is an interest in revamping their design and development, partly due to the even increasing efficiency and reliability requirements and partly due to advances in material and manufacturing techniques. This work investigates the feasibility of a hybrid permanent magnet - field winding excitation for synchronous generators' exciters. This design solution aims at reducing the losses of the exciter and thus of the whole generating system, while also increasing its reliability.