Principle of an Electric Generator

By: Colin Armstrong


Generators are basically used to produce electricity and supply to the areas where there is a shortage of electricity. When there is power cut or where power supply is limited, but the need is in excess, these are used in these cases. These are capable of producing large amounts of electricity and the size of the power producing element depends on the need.

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A Generator moves a magnet near the current carrying wire, which is further attached to a battery. It creates a steady flow of electrons. This force varies differently in hand cranks, steam engines and nuclear fission, but the principle remains the same. Like water is pushed by a pumping device in a pipe similarly electrons are pushed. The magnet is used to push electrons and serves as a pumping device. The motion of these electrons by the magnet is called current. It is measured in amperes. The pressure which is responsible for the flow of electrons is called voltage and it is generally measured in volts.

The basic terms which are used in generator are given below:

1. ROTOR- The element which rotates in the generator is called the rotor.
2. STATOR- The elements which do not move are called the stator.
3. ARMATURE- The element which is responsible for power production is called armature. The element can be on the rotor or the stator.
4. FIELD- The magnetic field produced by the electromagnets is called a field

Dynamo is a type of generator which produces electric energy with the help of the commutator. These dynamos were first used for the power generation in industries and plants. If the commutator is removed from a generator, then it becomes Alternator. These produce alternating current and this current depends upon the speed of the rotor in the alternator. In automobiles the frequency of alternating current depends upon the speed of the engine. In Induction generator rotor turns at high speed more than the synchronous speed which is responsible for the negative slope. These use the concept of induction motor for the power generation. This generator basically operates by working fluid like diesel, oil etc.

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