What is a Generator?

by admin | April 21, 2020 1:45 pm

Electrical generators are used in offices and homes to provide electricity when power from the local grid is unavailable. The generator is an equipment that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Based on the type of current output they are classified into two types.

What is the principle of generators?

The electrical generators work on the principle of Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction is the process where the conductor is kept in a stationary position and the electric field is changed or the electric field is kept stationary and the conductor is moved.

What is a DC generator?

When the armature conductor in the DC generator[1] is rotated in an electric field an electromotive force (emf) is generated. The emf generated can cause a flow of current in the circuit. The direction of the current can be found using Fleming’s right-hand rule. The DC  generator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of direct current. A DC generator mainly consists of Magnetic field system, armature coil, split rings and brushes. The direction of the current does not change in a DC generator.

What is an AC generator?

This is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy giving an output of alternating current. The direction of the current determined using Fleming’s right-hand rule. In an AC generator[2], slip rings are used. The other parts of an AC generator are Magnetic field system, armature coil and brushes. The conductor is rotated in the magnetic field which generates emf and as a result produces current. The direction of the current in the conductor changes for every half cycle in an AC generator.

Application of Alternating Current (AC) generators

As we have discussed above, the AC generator is used to supply power (electricity) to any appliance that might require Alternating Current Supply. Typically, ordinary electric appliances such as lights, electric fans, electric motors and air-conditioning systems need Alternating Current supply.

AC generator is typically used for backing up a power supply where conventional electric power lines are not available or are not reliable. Such generators can also be used to maintain supply voltage in cases where the demand for power is fluctuating. The most common application of the AC generator is perhaps for organizing outdoor events such as weddings, sports events, camping, and outdoor parties.

Application of Direct Current (DC) generators

In most applications, DC has been replaced with AC due to the advantage that the voltage level can be easily stepped up or down in AC. However, there are some special applications and equipment where DC is still in operation.

For instance, in order to compensate for the line drop, DC Series generators are often used as boosters for adding voltage to the transmission lines. In such cases, the Series generator is connected in series with the transmission line.

Endnotes:
  1. DC generator: https://byjus.com/physics/dc-generator/
  2. AC generator: https://byjus.com/physics/ac-generator/

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