Moving Towards 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


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 over-engineering methods to guarantee reliability. However, a recent shift towards 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 540V 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 partial discharge 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 a S/G with a higher DC bus (i.e., 800V) is examined to comply with the future aircraft voltage level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Insulation
  • inverter-fed machine design
  • more electric aircraft
  • partial discharge
  • Partial discharges
  • reliability
  • Reliability engineering
  • Temperature measurement
  • Voltage
  • Windings
  • Wires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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