How Does An Electric Generators Work (Full Guide)

The working of the Electric generators is so informative and so much worth reading, let’s scroll with me and we will find out major facts and information about the working of the electric generators.

Do you know about electric generators? And how do they work?

An electric generator is a device that is used to produce electric current/energy. Electric generators work on the principle of electromagnetic induction.

It has a conductor coil that is rotated rapidly between the poles of a magnet that is called an armature. The armature is further connected to a shaft of energy source I-e. motor and rotated.

Engines provide the mechanical energy that is required for the operation of an electric generator, Fuel such as diesel, petrol, natural gas, etc. Other power sources can be windmills, water turbines, or solar-powered turbines.

The magnetic field will interfere with the electrons in the conductor to flow electric current, which is used in different places like homes, offices, factories, shops, malls, etc. in the outage/non-supply of power.

Information: Generator does not create electrical energy hence it uses the mechanical source to make and gives the output of electrical energy, as we discussed above. Michael Faraday in 1831-32 discovered the above-mentioned flow of electric charges.

Now you all know how the generator works to help you to be better equipped when you need a generator to fulfill your needs in a disaster and storm or a blackout.

Main Parts of Electrical Generator

The worth of knowing your generator helps you and your generator to produce power. A generator has the following main parts:

  • Radiator
  • Engine
  • Alternator
  • Frame (skid)
  • Battery 
  • Oil filter
  • Air filter
  • Control panel
  • Lubrication system
  • Cooling and Exhaust system

Difference between Electric Generators and an Alternator

A generator and an alternator are both similar in design and working, but there are some distinctions that are worth mentioning.

At first, the design was different. Generators are a feature for a stational field in which the conductor rotates to produce electromagnetic induction. While in alternator the entire magnetic field turns.

Another difference is generators can produce AC and DC current. While alternators are used to equip for alternating power, as per their name.

The overall design of the generator allows it to produce a huge amount of current per kilowatts, so generators are much more substantial. Alternators are more economical and use fewer parts for smaller loads like cars or automobiles.

Sl. No.Differentiating PropertyAlternatorGenerator
1DefinitionAn alternator is a device that converts mechanical energy into AC electrical energy.A generator is a mechanical device that converts mechanical energy to either AC or DC electrical energy.
2Output CurrentAn alternator always induces an alternating current.A generator can generate either alternating or direct current.
3Energy EfficiencyAlternators are very efficient.Generators are considered less efficient.
4OutputAlternators have a higher output than generators.Generators have a lower output when compared with an alternator.
5Energy ConservationAlternators use only the required amount of energy and thus, it conserves more energy.Generators use all the energy that is produced and so, they conserve less energy.
6Polarization After InstallationPolarization is not required in the case of alternators.Generators need to be polarized after installation.
7Magnetic FieldThe magnetic field is rotating inside the stator of an alternator.In the case of a generator, the magnetic field is stationary or fixed where the armature winding spins.
8Armature MovementThe armature of an alternator is stationary.The armature of a generator is rotating.
9Input SupplyThe alternator takes the input supply from the stator.The generator takes the input supply from the rotor.
10RPM (Rotation Per Minute) RangeAlternators have a wide range of RPM.Generators have a low range of RPM.

Parts of Electric Generator:

  • Engine: The engine is the major part of the generator and supplies energy to the generator, Engine decides how much energy your generator will provide to you.
  • Alternator: The alternator is the part where the conversion of one type of energy to electrical energy is done. The alternator has stationary parts and the moving parts that work in a rhythm to create an electromagnetic field and the movement of electrons that result in the electricity you want.
  • Voltage Regulator: Voltage regulator helps to control the voltage of the electricity that generator produces. It also converts electrical energy to AC to DC as per your need.
  • Cooling / Exhaust system: As you know the generator is an engine and when the engine runs it produces a lot of heat and gets very hot. There is a built-in cooling system in generators to let the engine cool down and won’t overheat. The exhaust system releases fumes from the engine during the operation. This is the reason you should keep the generator a bit away from your home during generator operations.
  • Fuel system: The fuel system will ensure and make it possible for the generator to produce the energy that is used to run the engine and other parts. It includes fuel pump, pipe, fuel tank all should be connected to the engine. A filter is present in there to make sure fuel is debris free, and injector forces fuel to the combustion chamber.
  • Battery Charger: Same like cars and the mobile phone, batteries start up the generator. The charger is an automatic component in the generator to make sure the battery is charged and ready to go when you need to start the generator.
  • Lubrication: The different parts of the generator move and need lubrication to run or move without friction and stay smooth. The lubrication system works for the safety of the parts in the engine, you just need to check the levels of the lubricant.  Tip: It is recommended to check the lubricant levels every 8 to 10 hours of the operations.
  • Control panel: Control panel is very important in the generator. If your generator doesn’t have the control panel it is just like you have a washing machine in your home without a control panel, it controls all the aspects of the operations from start-up to running and to the output of the generator.
  • Main Frame: The mainframe is also called the body of the generator. When we go to buy the generator, we see the mainframe of the generator. It is the structure that holds all the parts of the generator together and keeps them safe and secure. So, we can use the generator to power up our homes and lives.
  • Carburetor: Carburetor has the fuel in them and cleans the fuel before injecting it into the engine, it is placed right after the fuel tank where the fuel pipe is connected to the carburetor then the injector sends the fuel to the engine for the operations.

Tip: Always cover your generator when not in use to avoid the dust that causes problems in the functions of the generators. 

When you are ready to buy the generator, make sure to invest a little in generator cover, remember it will be helpful to keep the generator clean when not in use.

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