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This paper presents the design and analysis of a novel axial flux permanent-magnet (AFPM) machine for a flywheel energy storage system (FESS). Its design and control facilitate significant reduction in axial bearing stress and losses. Due to the unconventional flux distribution in this machine, a 3-D finite element method was employed for its design and analysis, including its electromagnetic torque and axial force performances. The effects of the rotor PM skew angle on the cogging torque and the axial force have been studied. It is found that an optimum skew angle is effective in reducing the overall cogging torque with negligible effect on the static axial force. The latter is crucial as it can be utilized to minimize the axial bearing stress in FESS application. The concept, design, and analysis methodology have been validated by experimental results from an experimental AFPM machine prototype.