An Electrical Starter Generator Designed for Hybrid Vehicles is Upgraded for Use in Wind Turbines

April 02, 2020 by Luke James

A pair of researchers from Samara Polytech’s Department of Theoretical and Basic Electrical Engineering have designed an electrical starter generator that could be used in hybrid cars.

Today, the primary goal of electric and motor-generator design is better efficiencies and smaller footprints. However, the utilization of material-saving technologies in electric machines usually leads to higher resistance and a subsequent increase in power losses.

Now, Samara Polytech researchers who previously designed and constructed an electrical starter-generator intended for the power unit of a hybrid car have now built on this design, enabling it to be used in wind turbines.

Designed by Professor Pavel Grachev and built upon by his postgraduate student Aleksey Tabachinskly, the results of the team’s recent research have been published in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications


A wind-powered generator.

The wind-powered generator developed by Samara Polytech engineers. Image credited to Samara Polytech Department of Theoretical and Basic Electrical Engineering 


A New Winding Construction

The generator achieves high-efficiency winding thanks to a new design which makes use of a sequentially varied irregular cross-section conductor. This reduces the size and mass of the generator as well as the losses of electromechanical conversion. 

Both the increase in efficiency and reduction in size and electromechanical conversion losses are unique to Grachev’s wind-powered generator. Other generators either meet energy efficiency requirements by increasing size or weight or meet smaller footprint requirements by compromising on energy efficiency. 

In addition to the generator winding, the researchers implemented control algorithms and electronic units to ensure robust operation across a wide range of wind-wheel speeds. 


Improved Generator Efficiency

Grachev and Tabachinskly also note that their calculations have demonstrated that compact winding construction results were able to both reduce the overall size and improve the efficiency of the proposed induction generator. 

Furthermore, reduced end-windings of the generator facilitate the placement of power electronic units on the starter core found within the machine’s housing. 

The generator and its control strategy, which was developed by Grachev in his doctoral thesis, has potential applications in electric generators with compact windings, such as in hybrid vehicles and wind turbines. According to the duo, their design has already been patented as a core part of an electric machine that features integrated electronic units and liquid cooling.