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Brushless doubly-fed machine (BDFM) gives up brush and slip ring, and has the advantages such as high system reliability, small capacity of its frequency converter, low system cost and adjustable power factor and speed, etc. At the same time, it has good applicable potentials on the variable frequency motors and the variable speed constant frequency generators. However, due to the complicacy and particularity of BDFM in the structure and operating mechanism, the effect of magnetic field modulation directly influences the operating efficiency of BDFM. To study the effect of different cage rotor structures on the magnetic field modulation of BDFM, the rotor magnetromotive force (MMF) of BDFM with cage rotor are studied by the analytical method. The components and features of rotor harmonic MMFs are discussed. At the same time, the method to weaken the higher harmonics is analyzed by the theoretic formulae. Furthermore, the magnetic field modulation mechanism is expounded in detail and the relationship between the magnetic field modulation effect and the operating efficiency of BDFM is established. And then, a new method for estimating the magnetic field modulation effect is proposed. At last, the magnetic field modulation effects of 4 BDFM prototypes with different cage rotor structures are compared by the MMF analysis and the efficiency data of electromagnetic design. The results verify the effectiveness of the new method for estimating the magnetic field modulation effect of BDFM with cage rotor.