The brushless doubly fed induction generator (BDFIG) is an alternative to the doubly fed induction generator (DFIG), widely used in wind turbines which avoids the need for brush gear and slip rings. The choice of pole numbers for the two stator windings present in the BDFIG sets the operating speed, typically in the medium speed range to eliminate a gearbox stage. This paper focuses on how both the total number of poles and the assignment of poles between the windings affect machine performance. Analytical expressions have been developed for parameters including pull-out torque, magnetizing current and back-iron depth. The results show that the pole count can be increased without unduly compromising pull-out torque and that in cases where more than one combination of pole number is acceptable only the back iron depth is significantly affected. In addition an output factor has been introduced to enable a direct comparison to be made with conventional DFIGs. The torque density of a brushless DFIG is compromised to a degree relative to a comparable DFIG as a consequence of the presence of two magnetic fields and finite element analysis is needed to achieve an optimized design. Finally, predictions of the performance of multi-MW machines are made based on data from an existing 250 kW machine which show that suitable efficiencies can be obtained and excessive control winding excitation can be avoided.
- Brushless doubly-fed generator (BDFG)
- electrical machine design
- induction generator
- power factor