Due to the price and supply insecurities for rare earth metal-based permanent magnet (PM) materials, a search for new PM materials is ongoing. The properties of a new PM material are not known yet, but a span of likely parameters can be studied. This paper presents an investigation on how the remanence and recoil permeability of a PM material affect its usefulness in a low speed, multi-pole, and PM synchronous generator. Demagnetisation is also considered. The investigation is carried out by constrained optimisation of three different rotor topologies for maximum torque production for different PM material parameters and a fixed PM maximum energy. The rotor topologies used are surface mounted PM rotor, spoke type PM rotor and an interior PM rotor with radially magnetised PMs. The three different rotor topologies have their best performance for different kinds of materials. The spoke type PM rotor is the best at utilising low remanence materials as long as they are sufficiently resistant to demagnetisation. The surface mounted PM rotor works best with very demagnetisation resistant PM materials with a high remanence, while the radial interior PM rotor is preferable for high remanence materials with low demagnetisation resistance.
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