Generators for Power
We all know that generators are useful appliances that can supply electrical power during a power outage, and prevent the cutoff of daily activities or the disruption of various day-to-day business operations. Generators are available in a wide array of different electrical and physical configurations for use in different applications. Throughout this blog, we’re going to look at just how a generator operates as a secondary electrical source in both residential and industrial applications and some of the main components of a generator.
How Does A Generator Work?
An electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy obtained from an external source into electrical energy as the output. It’s very important to understand that a generator doesn’t actually create electrical energy; it uses the mechanical energy to force the movement of electric charges present in the wire through an external electric circuit.
The flow of the electric charge mentioned above helps to establish the output of the electric current supplied by the generator itself. If you’d like to understand it properly, you can compare the generator to a water pump, which causes the flow of water but doesn’t create the water flowing through it.
There are nine parts to a generator and they all play a role in getting power to where it is needed most. The parts of a generator are:
- Engine. The engine supplies energy to the generator. The power of the engine determines how much electricity a generator can provide.
- Alternator. This is where the conversion from mechanical energy to electrical energy occurs. Also called a “genhead”, the alternator contains both moving and stationary parts that work together to create the electromagnetic field and movement of electrons that generates electricity.
- Fuel System. The fuel system makes it possible for the generator to produce the energy needed. The system includes a fuel tank, a fuel pump, a pipe connecting the tank to the engine, and a return pipe. A fuel filter removes debris before it gets to the engine and an injector forces the fuel into the combustion chamber.
- Voltage Regulator. This component helps control the voltage of the electricity that is produced. It also helps convert the electricity from AC to DC, if needed.
- Cooling and Exhaust Systems. Generators create a lot of heat. The cooling system ensures the machine doesn’t overheat. The exhaust system directs and removes the fumes from the form during operation.
- Lubrication System. There are many small, moving parts inside a generator. It is essential to lubricate them adequately with engine oil to ensure smooth operation and protect them from excess wear. Lubricant levels should be checked regularly, as often as every 8 hours of operation.
- Battery Charger. Batteries are used to start up the generator. The battery charger is a fully automatic component that ensures the battery is ready to go when needed by supplying it with a constant low-level of voltage.
- Control Panel. The control panel controls every aspect of generator operation from start up and running speed to outputs. Modern units are even capable of sensing when power dips or goes out and can start or shut off the generator automatically.
- Main Assembly / Frame. This is the body of the generator. It is the part that we see; the structure that holds it all in place.
Over the years, generators have proved themselves to be worthy servants for many home and business owners around the globe, providing a valuable backup power source for properties that might have otherwise been without power if it weren’t for them.
As with anything, it’s easy to take electricity for granted; after all, it’s around most of us every day. For all you might understand what electricity is and how it works, that doesn’t make it any easier to cope with a situation when there may be no power due to damaged infrastructure or a failure with the power grid. Having a generator doesn’t mean just paying for it and hoping it works when the power goes down. If you are truly considering going down the route of buying a new generator, it’s a wise idea to learn how it works and understanding the way it fills the void of power, during a power cut or when there is no power nearby.