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The objective of the project reported in the paper is the design and construction of an experimental high Tc (HTS) synchronous machine. The machine is excited with rare-earth permanent magnets on the rotor and rod-shaped armature conductors on the stator. The machine incorporates Bi-based HTS conductors supplied with electrical contacts. In the design procedure special attention has been paid to the considerations regarding industrial applications of HTS rotating electrical machines both in motor and generator modes of operation. Possible applications have been analyzed to formulate the requirements for the machine to be applied and calculations have been performed to check how the above requirements can be met by HTS machines. Comparisons have been made between conventional and HTS machines designed for particular practical cases.