Closed Path Homopolar Machine

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A co-rotating homopolar generator has a rotor (12) comprising a disk conductor (30) and co-rotating coaxial electromagnets (32a and 32b) on either side, and achieves improved operation by utilizing a low reluctance magnetic return path for the magnetic flux that passes through the disk conductor (30). The low reluctance path permits the electromagnets (32a and 32b) to produce a high field with a relatively low value of coil excitation current. Thus overheating is avoided and the full potential of the homopolar generator is achieved. The low reluctance magnetic return path (220) is peferably provided by a relatively high permeablity co-rotating enclosure (having enclosure halves 37a and 37b) of sufficient radial and axial dimensions to enclose the electromagnets and disk conductor of the rotor. The disk conductor (30) is preferably constructed from a high permeability, low resistivity material such as iron, and can indeed be integral with the electromagnet cores (35a and 35b).