When the power goes out, generators temporarily provide energy, so homes and businesses can keep going as usual. There are many electrical and physical configurations of generators. And it’s good that you’re here to learn more about them before talking to a generator company near you.
In this article, we’ll talk about how generators work, why they work that way, and how they’re used as backup power sources for homes and businesses.
How Generators “Generate” Power
Contrary to popular belief, a generator does not “produce” electricity.
Instead, it uses an electric circuit outside of it to move the charges in the wires of its windings. This movement of electric charges is what makes the generator’s electric current. Like a water pump, the generator controls the flow of electricity, but it does not “make” electricity.
Michael Faraday first described this principle in 1831. He called it the “electromagnetic induction principle,” saying that a change in a magnetic field makes a conductor produce a voltage.
Faraday moved an electrical conductor (a wire that carries electric charges) through a magnetic field. It causes the flow of electric charges mentioned above. When a wire or other electrical conductor moves, a voltage difference is made between its ends.
What Are The Components Of Generators?
A generator has three primary parts:
- Rotating shaft
- Wire coils
- Magnetic field.
The rotating shaft connects to a motor that spins the wire coils within the magnetic field. As the coils turn within the magnetic field, they cut through the lines of the magnetic field, generating voltage in the wire.
And here are more components of a generator:
- Fuel System
- Voltage Regulator
- Cooling and Exhaust Systems
- Lubrication System
- Battery Charger
- Control Panel
- Main Assembly / Frame
The most important part of a generator is the engine, which transforms mechanical energy into electric energy. Most generators get the power they need from a gasoline or diesel engine mounted on a shaft that spins.
The central part of a generator that makes electricity is the alternator. The rotating shaft hooks to the alternator with a magnetic field and wire coils. As the shaft turns, the magnetic field it creates sends a voltage through the wire coils.
The fuel system usually comprises a fuel tank, pump, and fuel injectors. The fuel injectors move energy from the fuel tank into the engine to keep it running.
The voltage regulator decides how much power the generator sends out. It hooks the generator and constantly checks the alternator’s output voltage. If the output voltage is too high or too low, the regulator will change it.
Cooling And Exhaust Systems
This part of the generator keeps the engine at the right temperature, and it usually has a radiator and a fan. The exhaust system keeps the generator in good shape and lets out the harmful byproducts of the engine’s combustion.
The oil pump, the filter, and the catch pan make up the lubrication system. The oil pump moves the oil around the engine, and the filter keeps it from getting dirty. The oil pan is where used motor oil goes to be recycled.
When the generator’s battery gets low, the battery charger kicks in to charge it back up. The car’s alternator hooks to the battery charger, and the output of the battery charger charges the battery.
The generator’s control panel is the primary way for the user to interact with the generator. It has switches, gauges, and lights,
Main Assembly Or Frame
The frame and enclosure help compensate for most of the generator’s main assembly. The frame has to support and steady the generator while it is running. The enclosure’s job is to protect the generator from the weather. Along with the motor and alternator, the fuel tank, fuel pump, and battery charger are also part of the generator’s primary assembly.
What Are The Different Types Of Generators?
Here are the different kinds of generators to understand before using them.
AC generators produce alternating current (AC), which can be easily transformed to the desired voltage level. They are commonly used with house appliances to large-scale properties. Examples are:
- Power Plants
- Data Centers
- Industrial Appliances
On the other hand, DC generators produce direct current (DC), which cannot be easily transformed to a different voltage level. These generators are used in applications requiring direct currents, such as:
- Electric trains
- Submarine propulsion
- Large-scale battery charging systems
Portable generators are smaller and easier to carry than AC and DC generators. They are often used as a backup power source when the power goes out or in remote areas. There are portable generators of both home and business quality that come in various sizes and power levels. Portable generators have multiple applications, including the following:
- Mobile power to outdoor events like concerts
- Acts as backup power for the disaster relief effort
- Powering tools during construction.
Why Do We Use Generators?
A backup power source, like a generator, is essential when the power goes out. It also gives backup power to hospitals or other places that require electricity 24/7 and RVs or homes not connected to the grid.
Also, generators are a reliable and less expensive way to get power than traditional sources like hydropower, solar, and wind farms. After all, wind, solar, and hydropower plants will only be usable through generators.
Power Up With The Right Generator
Generators are important because they turn mechanical energy into electrical energy, used in many parts of our daily lives. People can use it for anything, from charging small batteries to making global travel easy, like airplanes and ships. Remember how generators work to keep a reliable and long-lasting power supply.