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Electric Generator Review

By Brenda
ELECTRIC GENERATORS: What do we Consider as an Electric Generator? Electric generators are generators the produce electricity via the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy. This mechanical energy is usually generated manually and or through various processes / means such as burning of fuel or the use of internal combustion engines. One of the main principles on which the electric generator is based, is that of electromagnetic induction introduced by Michael Faraday. Here electrical energy is induced in a conductor when the conductor is passed through a magnetic field. Amazon Current Price Various Energy Sources Used in Electric Generators Electrical energy is technically not created but converted from one energetic form / state to another as per the first law of thermodynamics aka the law of conservation of energy. Electrical energy is generated via diverse means. There are many forms of electrical generators depending on the energy source used to generate the mechanical energy from which electricity is hailed. The mechanical energy used in the generation of electricity can be derived from various sources as indicated below.
ELEMENT CONVERSION MECHANISM SOURCE ENERGY DETERMINING FACTORS
Water Hydroelectric turbines Hydraulic energy Flow rate and volume of the falling water
Winds Wind turbines Wind energy Wind speed, direction, strength
Fire Combustion engines Thermal engines Heat energy combustible
Combustion engines Nuclear chamber Thermoelectric energy Fossil fuels, nuclear reaction (fission of uranium)
Magnets Electromagnetic induction Electromagnetic energy Magnets, magnetic field and strengths
Hot underground water Earths inner heat Geothermal energy Geothermal gradient and the Radiogenic heat
Sunshine Solar panels Photovoltaic cells Solar energy Insolation, Sunshine intensity
Nuclear power Nuclear reaction chamber Nuclear energy Fissionable material, Nuclear reactions (the splitting of large nucleus with the spontaneous release of energy)
Functioning Mechanism Amazon Current Price An electric generator generates mechanical energy from an external source (source energy) and later converts this energy into electricity. The energy sources indicated above are considered the input energy that is transformed to mechanical energy via different processes to finally release the output energy that is electricity. An electric generator usually comprises within it a stator and a rotor. The stator is made up of the fixed magnetic poles that provoke the formation of the magnetic field while the rotor is the rotating coil or armature. These convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy and the process is known as electromagnetic induction. In majority of the cases, the fuels typically used in the generation of source energy in generator engines include diesel, gasoline, propane, natural gas etc. Usually small engines run on gasoline while large ones run on diesel, propane or gas. Some advanced or hybrid generators run on a dual fuel system comprising of two distinct fuel types. Components of an Electric Generator These could be categorised as below:
  • Type of engine
  • The alternator that converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy
  • Fuel system
  • Voltage regulator that controls the generator output voltage
  • Cooling and ventilation systems to prevent overheating of the engine
  • Exhaust systems for the evacuation of the gases emitted
  • Lubrication for smooth functioning of the engine to ensure durability
  • Battery type and charger
  • Control user interface of the generator (control panel)
  • Cover framework or body work
As aforementioned, electric generators are diverse and most are used for supply of electricity on a very broad scale. For the purpose of this review the electric generator discuss hence will be mainly with respect to portable and home generators. These generators are ideal to use as a whole house generators. Types of Electric Generators Depending on the design, mechanism and purpose, an electric generator could either be an AC or DC generator. Both AC and DC generators generate electricity by converting mechanical energy to electrical energy via the process of electromagnetic induction. Amazon Current Price A direct current (DC) generator is a generator that converts mechanical energy into DC electricity. This is due to the process of inducing electromotive force (EMF). These generators usually provide a reliable and efficient energy supply that can charge batteries used in vehicles and likewise be used off-grid. The generators can also be used as exciters for AC generators. Alternating current (AC) generators (in some cases aka alternators) are electrical generators that produces an EMF during the interaction of magnetic field going through a coil. AC generators could be: single phase generators that produce < 25 kW and generate variable AC power; or polyphase generators that produce > 1 alternating voltages (usually 2, 3 or 6 phases). Similarities and Differences Between DC and AC Generators
DC Generators AC Generators
Generate electricity via electromagnetic induction
Generates direct current Generates alternating current
Requires the use of a commutator(s) in order to function
Have one commutator Have two commutators
The flow of current is unidirectional Current flows in both directions (reversesoccasionally)
Current flows through fixed coils There are no fixed coils. Current flows as the coil moves in a fixed field.
Magnets are the elements in constant motion Magnetic field generated is fixed
Produce a steady output voltage Variable output voltage dependent on time and amplitude
They are used for powering larger motors such as those in subway systems. They are used to power smaller motors and household electrical appliances
Generators use brushes that need to be changed regularly Requires no brush for its functioning
  These characteristics make electric generators the best home generators especially the AC generator sets such as the power generators (natural gas / diesel generators). A great deal of the generators used nowadays is the AC generator due to its maintenance flexibility as compared to DC generators. That is why even vehicles that used to have DC generators running its circuits had been switched to AC generators. The key to this innovation was the addition of a cheap but dependable diode to the unit that converts AC to DC. Electric generators still remain the most adequate and accurate machine for the supply of electricity of different voltages at various levels for diverse recommended uses in contemporary times. Amazon Current Price Tags: electric generators, best home generators, home generators, power generator, portable generator, whole house generator, diesel generator, best generators, generator reviews
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