Ever wondered how a modern eclectic generator works and produces power? Let’s take a look. The first step is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy by spinning magnets inside coils of wire. This creates an electromagnetic field that allows current to flow through the wires, creating electricity! In this blog, we will outline the parts and process of power production in a generator.

What is an electric generator?

The basic idea of an electric generator is to transfer the chemical energy in the fuel into electrical electricity. Regardless of the fuel, once used to create mechanical energy in the form of a spinning output, this can then be used to spin an alternator to produce electricity. Many parts of a modern generator are similar to a modern power station, however on a significantly smaller scale. This blog will outline the different parts and their use.

When were electric generators invented?

The concept of an electrical generator was outlined and proven by the famous 1800s inventor Michael Faraday. Throughout his life, Michael Faraday was a prolific inventor with many brilliant designs credited to him. However, it can be argued that no invention changed modern life more than the electric generator. When looking at a modern electric generator you would struggle to see the connection to the generator, although the design has been improved significantly the mathematical and purpose have remained fundamentally the same.

What are the parts of an electric generator?

Even though the concept of the modern generator is fairly simple, in practice they really are miniature power stations and as such have a surprising number of components. Below we will outline some of the most important components.


One of the most important components of a modern generator is the engine. This really is where the process begins. The engine can take the form of a diesel engine very similar to what you would find in a car. This is used to transform the chemical energy of the fuel into rotational energy.


Following the engine is the alternator which really is what makes the generator a generator. An alternator consists of a magnet and several coils of wire which rotate past each other thanks to the rotation supplied by the engine. As the magnate passes the coils of wire this induces a magnetic field and therefore an electrical current is produced in the coil of wire, this wire can then be used to create a circuit.

Voltage Regulator and transformers

The power output of the alternator is determined by the number of wire coils and the speed at which the engine can spin the alternator. Due to this, you cannot simply plug your equipment into the alternating, the electoral output is therefore passed through both voltage regulators and transformers to ensure the final output from the generator unit can be used directly with your equipment.

Fuel System.

The fuel system’s purpose is to ensure that the engine has a constant supply of fuel to keep the engine running. This more often than not takes the form of a fuel pump to move the diesel into the engine. As this pump is self-powered by the electrical output once started the generator can run continuously with no external power input.

Cooling and Exhaust Systems.

Just like in your car engine it is important that the waste products from the engine are removed from the system, and like in your car this primarily takes the form of the exhaust gas being dissipated into the atmosphere. While the waste heat is absorbed by a coolant liquid and is then dissipated into the atmosphere using a radiator. Just like with the fuel pump the cooling system is also powered by the electrical output of the generator.

Lubrication System.

As with any rotating metal machinery. friction between the moving part of the equipment has to be taken into account. This takes the form of a lubrication system. This consists of a lubricating liquid such as oil and a fluid pump to move the lubricant around the engine. This system is particularly important for the longevity of the generator.


Many components of the generator are powered by the electrical output and this includes the starter motor. So just like your car, modern generators contain at least one barrier to be used during the start-up of the generator. Thanks to this, generators can be placed far away from a source of electricity and can be totally self surfactant.

Control Panel.

It is important you know exactly what is happening with a generator while it is running. This is where the control panel comes into play. From starting your generator to monitoring the fuel level or power output, this can all be done using the control panel. Normally located on one of the sides of the generator this is also more often than not where you will find the electrical outlets.

Main Assembly / Frame

This entire generator setup is enclosed in a single assembly. This not only helps to keep the generator organised and compact but also allows for simple transport and installation of the generator.

Generators work in a very simple way. They take the kinetic energy from mechanical rotation and convert it to an electrical current using magnets, coils of wire, and switches. This flow of electricity then powers light bulbs or other appliances that run on electric power. If you still have questions or would like more information, contact us today! We’re happy to help answer any questions about generators so you can better understand the process before buying or hiring a generator for your home or business.