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This paper presents a single-sided axial-flux permanent-magnet synchronous generator (AFPMSG). The performance of an AFPMSG feeding an isolated load is studied using a coupled-circuit, time-stepping, 2-D finite-element analysis. The short-circuit performance is also investigated. The second-order serendipity quadrilateral elements are used in the analysis to obtain the accurate analysis result. Nonlinearities in the field and electric circuit are taken into consideration. With the strong nonlinear diode parts existing in the external circuit, the special interpolating algorithm is used for the motion interface between the stator and rotor to overcome the nonconvergence problem in the computation. The algorithm is validated by comparison with conventional algorithm for an AFPMSG feeding with a rectifier resistive load. The steady state and transient performance of an AFPMSG feeding with bridge rectifier RL load condition are analyzed. The computed result has been verified by experiment on the prototype generator.