Moving Toward Partial Discharge-Free Design of Electrical Machines for More Electric Aircraft Applications

Yatai Ji, Paolo Giangrande, Weiduo Zhao, Huanran Wang, Vincenzo Madonna, He Zhang, Michael Galea

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


For aerospace electrical machines (EMs), the partial discharge (PD) risk is becoming much more severe due to higher dc link voltage levels and faster switching devices. Traditionally, EMs for safety-critical applications mainly rely on overengineering methods to guarantee reliability. However, a recent shift toward reliability-oriented design, which is based on understanding the physics of failure, allows for meeting the reliability requirements while ensuring performance. From the perspective of the reliability-oriented methodology, the PD-free design of a starter/generator (S/G) with a 540-V dc bus is presented and the main steps for a comprehensive PD risk evaluation are discussed. First, the PD inception mechanism is experimentally investigated under pulse voltage excitation for several rise times, temperatures, and pressure values. Then, the measured PD inception voltage (PDIV) values are used to perform an accurate PD risk assessment, which includes the winding hotspot temperature resulting from the S/G mission profile, the environment operating conditions, and the connection cable length. Finally, the PD risk of an S/G with a higher dc bus (i.e., 800 V) is examined to comply with the future aircraft voltage level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4668-4679
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


  • Inverter-fed machine design
  • more electric aircraft (MEA)
  • partial discharge (PD)
  • reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Automotive Engineering


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