A generator is a machine that produces electrical power. It does this by changing mechanical power to electrical energy. The source of mechanical energy might come from a reciprocating or steam engine, internal combustion engines, turbines, crank or any other device that moves.
Generators are made up of two main components. The first component, the motor, provides power for the generator by burning some sort of fuel. The second component, the generator head, turns that power to electricity by electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction produces an electrical voltage across a conductor in a changing magnetic field.
Homes and small businesses use generators to power up their buildings. In the US, the standard single phase voltage for most houses is 120 volts. A lot of houses have two 120 volt circuits. The two circuits, when combined, produce 240 volts to provide electricity to appliances that need a large amount of power to operate.
There are two main types of generator available today. Although each one is similar in purpose, they are different in terms of size, design, usage, and features.
The first type of generator is called a standby generator. These generators are bulky, powerful and expensive. Because of their size and weight, they are usually placed in a fixed position outside a home or a building. They can be connected directly to a gas line or liquid propane tank so they can operate even without electrical power.
This type of generator is used to prevent the harmful and possibly damaging effects of power outages. They are wired to a house’s electrical system by an automatic transfer switch. That means the generator automatically turns on in case of a power outage.
The second type of generator is called a portable generator. Portable generators are smaller than standby generators because they are designed to be mobile. They are used to supply power to places that don’t have access to electricity such as construction sites or forest clearings.
Smaller than a standby generator, a portable generator is also cheaper.
Portable generators can also provide electricity during a power outage. However, they can only do so for a few hours. Also, portable generators cannot turn on automatically and have to be started by hand.
So, which type of generator should you buy? It all depends on your needs. If you are an outdoorsman who wants to have electricity while camping, then it would be best to purchase the portable type. However, if you want to have a continuous supply of power in your home, then it is better to opt for a standby generator.