Looking onto the epileptic power supply affecting us today has encouraged the power generation in working hard in order to put a stop to it. Are you wondering what an electric generator is, or are confuse about the electric generator. This complete review of the electric generator will give you an insight into electricity generation and all it takes to know.
Therefore, before shopping for one, its advice you read through this article to get a good understanding of what an electric generator is all about before making a purchase.
What is an Electric Generator?
In a simple term, electric generators are devices or machines that transform (motive power) mechanical energy into electrical power for use with an external circuit. The mechanical energy can be gotten from water turbines, steam turbines, or wind turbines and an electric motor will help turn the mechanical energy into electrical power.
Features of Electric Generators
An electric generator is characterized by the following:
- The electric Genset is for power generation. It can provide both low and high power requirements
- It uses multiple fuel options which include natural gas, petrol, diesel, and LPG.
- They can be easily moved around, so mobility with them is easy. Some electric generators have handles fitted on them or wheels’ so moving from point to the other is very simple and possible.
- Some electric generator models are less noisy because of their noise-reducing technology. So noise pollution is reduced and they can be kept in close proximity.
How Does an Electric Generator Work?
The electric generator works by capturing the power of motion and therefore, turns it into the electrical energy via forcing electrons from the external source through an electrical circuit. So simply put, an electric generator can be said to be an electromagnet by which it moves wire near a magnet to direct the flow of electricity.
Examples of Electric Generators
Examples of an electric generator are solar generators that captured solar energy and transform it into electrical energy; same with thermal generator it turns thermal energy into electricity and chemical generator that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
Types of Electric Generators
The electric generator has three main types and they are: the portable generators, inverter generators, and standby generator
These are the gas-powered engines that provide electricity. The engine turns on an onboard alternator to create electrical power. Portable generators come with the following components that are put together on a metal frame in a single unit. They include the alternator, starter, fuel tank, outlets, and internal combustion engine.
The Inverter Generators
As the name implies, this generator comes up when the grid goes down, this means that few seconds that there is an interruption of power, standby generator comes on automatically. It will send power to light sockets and appliances at home. This is better than diesel or gas-powered generators since it doesn’t need much setup when there’s a power outage.
Electric Generator Price
The prices of electric generators vary and it mostly depends on some factors like the amount of energy a generator can produce, its length of time it will last, the brand, reliability, and efficiency. So there’s a wide price spectrum for electric generators but from our research, a small electric generator can go between $200 and $2000 while the big ones can go as high as $1500-$10,000.
Functions of Electric Generator
- Electric generator main function is generation of power
- It helps in converting mechanical energy to electricity
- Electric generator helps in transmitted and distributing electricity over power lines
- It aid in creating electric power that is needed for used in ships and trains.
Specifications of Electric Generator
Most electric generators have the following specifications (specs):
- Fuel type could be diesel, gasoline, propane, natural gas, or fuelless etc
- Phase could either be AC single-phase, AC three-phase power and DC power
- The wattage could be kilowatts, milliwatts or megawatts
- Volt-Ampere comes in VA, Mva, kVA and MVA
- Frequency can be 50Hz or 60Hz
- The voltage can be 120V, 240V, 120/240V
How to Make an Electric Generators
A simple electric generator can be made this way:
Start by building the frame: Cut the cardboard to serve as a frame, mark the cardboard into different segments, and fold the card along each mark. This is the frame that will house all the components of the electric motor and finalizing slide the metal shaft through the support frame.
Next, create the circuit: First wind the copper wire i.e make several turns around the cardboard box with enamel coated copper wire, strip the ends of the wire you can use a knife or a wire stripper to remove the insulation from each end of the wire and now connect the wires to an electronic device. You do this by attaching the two wires you have taken from the ends of the windings to the red LED. Remember, you are producing a low voltage but larger devices, so a regular light bulb might be powered by this generator.
Set up the magnets: Start with gluing the magnets to the shaft, do this by using an epoxy or high strength melt glue to hold the four ceramic magnets to the shaft. Then glue the magnets onto the shaft after it has been inserted into the frame, then allow the glue to dry for some minutes, if you need a better results use 1x2x5cm ceramic magnets. Put them together so that the two magnets are facing the coil with their south side. Next, turn the shaft with your fingers, this will enable you see if the ends of the magnets is hitting the inside frame. Make sure that the magnet turns freely but should be close to the wall.
Your generator is almost ready now, the last thing will be to spin the shaft as fast as possible, you can do this by winding a string around the end of the shaft or using your fingers to just spin it. Now, as the shaft will turn you will get a small voltage maybe enough to light 1.5 volt light bulb but you can still enhance the power output by putting a pinwheel on the end of the shaft, then connect it to the an electric fan to keep turning the wheel.
Inverter Electric Generator Set
The electrical generator inverter produces electricity in 3 phases. It converts high-frequency AC to DC and back again to a stable AC current. Inverter generators only offer clean and quiet power for work, recreation, and emergencies
Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Generator
The pros of having electric generators are:
- It can help in powering almost all things needed at a time
- It is an automatic power supply example the standby generator
- Electric generator can run as long as it is needed
- With it energy can be transfer over large distances
Disadvantages of Electric Generator
- It can use dirtier forms of energy to produce electricity like fuel, fossil or nuclear
- It can also lead to pollution if it is using nuclear energy or fossil fuels
- Animal lives can be affected if it generated by tidal power
- High voltage lines can cause hazards to animals, plants, or humans that live close by since the create a magnetic field.
Is Electric Generators AC OR DC
An electric generator is AC (Alternating current) and there are called induction generators because the induction AC motors are used as generators. This generator turned mechanical energy into electricity. Induction generators operate mechanically they turned rotor quickly than the synchronous speed which gives a negative slip.
What is an Electric Generators Used For?
An electric generator is used as a machine to converts mechanical energy to electricity which will then be transmitted and distributed to power lines to supply light to industrial, domestic, and commercial customers. Nevertheless, it can also be used to produce electrical power needed to power trains, ships, aircraft, and automobiles.
Where Are Electric Generators Used?
- Electric generators can be used in homes, offices, shops etc. These generators are used as back-ups in case of an outage of light.
- It can use in distant areas where electricity from the mainline isn’t possible. It can be used as a primary source of power supply in distant places.
- They can also be used on project sites where electricity from the grid can’t be accessed. So it can be used here to power tools and machinery in factories, industries and so on.
Electric Generator Principle
The electric generator principle is called the principle of electromagnetic induction as established by Micheal Faraday. This principle states that the flow of electric charges should be induced by moving an electrical conductor like a wire that has electric charges in a magnetic field.
Difference Between Electric Motor and Electric Generator
The electric motor and electric generator can be said to be a coin with two sides which one does the reverse of the other. An electric motor is a machine that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy while an electric generator does the reverse; the machine converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. Electric motor current is supplied to the armature winding while in electric generator current is created in the armature winding.
What Can Electric Generator Power
- Electric generator can power family needs when if there’s a light outage
- It can power all major appliances including the sump pump, heating system, water heater, and air conditioning system.
- It can keep a home security system on
- It can charge laptops and other devices
Electric Generator Inventor
Many people participate in the invention of electric Genset but following the first electromagnetic generator build using the Faraday disk in 1831, Michael Faraday a British scientist was considered to be the inventor of electric generators is because he built generators provide nearly all of the power for electric power grids.
Other contributing inventors of electric generators include Charles F. Brush, Charles F. Kettering, Zenobe Gramme, Antonio Pacinotti, Granville Woods, Thomas Edison, Garrett Morgan, Humphry Davy.
Conclusively, Electric generators have many roles to play in today’s power generation. Be it solar, inverter, water turbine, fuelless, gas turbine, gasoline, or diesel generator, they all have one thing in common which is the ability to produce the electricity needed for use in powering applications.