How Do Generators Produce Electricity?
A device that transforms available mechanical force into electrical current through electromagnetic induction is known as an electric generator. In contrast, an electric motor is made of the same components and acts in reverse, transforming electric current into mechanical energy. A generator isn’t just some popular machine. Instead, it is the lifeblood that keeps the world humming! Without them, we wouldn’t have our modern-day amenities.
How do they work?
A generator consists of a stationary magnetic field known as the stator and a rotating electromagnet that spins to produce an electrical current. In a gasoline-powered generator, an internal combustion engine drives the rotating shaft that turns the armature. In renewable types, wind, water, and other natural forces spin the turbine. Based on the output power, they are divided into AC Generators and DC Generators.
Various Parts of a Generator
Following are the parts that work together to form a generator:
- Rotating Shaft
- Field Windings
- Brush Assembly
What is the Difference Between a Generator and an Alternator?
Although similar in design and principle, there are a few differences between a generator and an alternator and they are:
- Generators feature a stationary field and a rotating conductor while in an alternator, or an AC generator the entire magnetic field turns and the conductors remain stationary.
- Generators can be used for both AC and DC power while alternators are specifically designed for AC.
- Alternators are cheaper than generators with fewer parts.
Classification of Generators
Field windings provide the necessary excitation to set up the magnetic fields in the machine. Depending on the field excitation, the generators are classified as:
- Separately-excited generators
- Self-excited generators
Furthermore, the self-excited generators, based on the field connection, are classified as:
Where can we use Generators?
1. Backup Power For Your House
With frequent power cuts, for people living in rural areas, electric generators can be a lifesaving source.
2. Temporary Power in a Construction Site
Contractors and workers work in buildings where power mains have not yet been installed and generators are the only source of power available. Without the backup power from electric generators, contractors would be unable to carry out their daily tasks.
3. Concerts, Events and Exhibitions
Many large festivals and concerts are located in rural areas where mains power is simply inaccessible. Electric generators can be used to power large lighting rigs, sound systems and even catering equipment.
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