Important Information Regarding AC Generators

Power generators are machines that provide electrical power by converting mechanical energy into electricity. These power generating machines can be quite useful especially during power failures (e.g. backup power generators). They also provide power on places where utility power is not available (campsites, mines, etc.). Power generators are used on all types of applications (residential, industrial, and commercial application).

There are many types of power generating machines these days. The most commonly used type of power generators are Alternating Current generators. But exactly are the difference between an Alternating Current generator and other types of generators? AC generators commonly known as alternators are machines that generate an alternating current. Meaning, the power or voltage that the generator produces transpose alternatively (from positive polarity to negative polarity), thereby, creating corresponding change in the course of the flow its current.
Similar to DC generators, AC generators needs coils to cut across the power links of a magnetic field. The coil or coils are connected to slip rings that deliver the flow towards and from the load destination, therefore completing the process. Halfway through the full revolution, the coil cuts across the area close to the north polarity of the magnetic field. Electrons pass through the wire, and a slip ring on the lower side then becomes positively charged. When the coil stops in the vicinity of the south pole of the wire on its second half revolution, the lower slip ring then changes from positive charge to negative, and the electrons travel down the wire. The faster the coil rotates, the faster the electron travels, thereby increasing the rate of recurrence (determined in Hertz) of the current generated by the AC generator.

One of the main disadvantages of AC generators is that the motor must have high level of current flowing throughout the revolving contacts. This can create sparks and heat, of which, dissipates energy and can cut down the lifespan of the motor. Most of the turbines of AC generate magnetic field created by an electromagnet. The electromagnet is powered by the same alternating current voltage as the coils of the motor. The coils that generate the magnetic field are commonly known as stator. Whereas the coils and the solid focal point of the motor that revolves are known as the armature. The AC generator’s motor have sinusoidally fluctuating magnetic fields, at the same time as the flow in the coil fluctuates.

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