The Doubly Fed Induction Machine as an Aero Generator

Tom Feehally, Judith Apsley

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    Modern aircraft require a robust and reliable supply of electrical power to drive a growing number of high power electrical loads. Generators are driven by a mechanical offtake from the variable speed gas turbine, while a constant frequency AC network is preferred. Here doubly-fed induction machines are advantageous since they can be controlled, through a fractionally rated converter, to decouple electrical frequency from the mechanical drive speed, making control of the network frequency possible. However, the converter must be suitably rated, according to drive speed range, electrical voltage and frequency regulation, and power requirements. This paper develops and validates a simulation model of the doubly-fed induction generator system, which is applied to find the power flow through the machine’s stator and rotor connections over a wide mechanical speed range in order to size the converter. A field orientated control scheme is implemented, to provide stand-alone voltage and frequency regulation across a drive range of ±40% synchronous speed, on a purpose-built 6.6kW hardware test platform. Based on the mechanical speed range of an aero gas turbine and the identified converter sizing, the suitability of a doubly-fed induction generator for aero applications is appraised. It is shown that a converter rated at 18% of full system rating can be used to meet the aircraft electrical specifications, and offer a potential improvement in aircraft performance, with no additional mechanical components.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3462-3471
    Number of pages10
    JournalI E E E Transactions on Industry Applications
    Issue number4
    Early online date18 Mar 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2015


    • Aircraft
    • Frequency regulation
    • Generator
    • Power converter rating
    • Variable speed
    • Voltage control


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