In this work, a 6/4 permanent magnet reluctance generator (PMRG) with Alnico magnets is designed for small-scale wind energy conversion systems and its performance is analyzed by finite element analysis. A simple converter topology is proposed to protect the Alnico magnets from demagnetization. Thus, NdFeB magnets, which are predominantly used in electric machines, can be directly replaced by Alnico magnets without changing the size or location. Since Alnico magnets are very cheap, the design cost can be significantly reduced without losing much from the generator performance. (C) 2016 Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.