All You Should Know About AC Generators

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Well, in today’s world electricity generation is almost completely turns into the AC world but many never seem to understand. Do you really know about the AC generators? If no, let’s see what an AC generator is all about. In this post are all you should know about the AC generators.

Brief Introduction About AC and DC Generators

The change that occurs from DC generation to AC generation in the world today is primarily because two important electrical machines work with AC only and also said to be perfect. Which are transformers and three-phase induction motors respectively.

For example, long-distance transmission of electrical power is not possible without transformers. Likewise, the majority of large motors are said to be three-phase induction motors, which is by far the simplest of all motor types.

Having chosen AC machines (generators) over DC machines (generators), for power applications, we need AC generators to produce AC electricity. That’s why they’re so many of them at power stations today. Hence, is also the reason why AC generators are popularly known in today’s generation than that of the DC generators.

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Diagram illustrating the principle and formula of AC generators

First of all, what’s an AC Generator?

There are so many definitions of the AC generator from different scholars especially those in the engineering field, but there is one thing in common which is the ability to “convert mechanical energy into electrical energy”.

According to research done by GenGuide team, we have come out with the definition that Ac generator is a device to be precisely a mechanical device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. This is in the form of alternative emf or alternating current and works under a principle known as Electromagnetic Induction by Faraday’s law.

AC generators (also called alternator generators) are the dominant technology in most applications because they are the very common component used in many applications, such as automobiles where they are known to be an alternator, power generation from windmills, power generation from hydro-electric dams and so on.

With AC generator, power supply (electricity) is made possible to anything that requires alternating current supply such as light bulbs, fans, TV, refrigerator, computers, and so on at the home, office, business and so on, also small or large motors and air conditioning systems in industry, firm or organization.

Types of AC Generators

There are various types of ac generators used today which basically we have to type of AC generator which is generally acceptable. This is because they all perform the same basic function. Below are the two types of AC generators:

  • Stationary field rotating armature
  • Rotating field stationary armature

Stationary Field Rotating Armature

The stationary field rotating armature AC generator type is usually a small AC generator that has stationary field rotating armature and is said to have one major disadvantage, this is because the slip rings and the brush assembly is in series with the load circuits.

Rotating Field Stationary Armature

This type of AC generator type is achieved when the alternating current that is to be induced into a stationary coil if a Dc field excitation is connected to the rotor, by that is known as rotating field stationary armature.

Rotating field stationary armature is mostly used when high power generation is involved thereby making the DC source applied to the field coils which will now produce a magnetic field around the rotating element.

Hence, when the prime mover turns the rotor then the field will cut the conductors of the stationary armature then EMF will be created in the armature windings once it achieved.

Simple AC Generator

Discussing a simple ac generator, it consists of a coil (i.e wire-bonded together) rotating in a magnetic field for the purpose of given output know as generating electricity. In a car, the type of ac generator use is called an “alternator”. This is used to keep the battery charged and also to run the electrical system (components) while the car engine is working.

How do you make a simple AC generator?

For the construction of a simple AC electric generator is not that complicated compare to that AC electric generator been manufactured by powering companies such as Firman brand, Elepaq brand, Tiger brand and so on, all you need is the following material and tools:

Material Required for the Construction of a Simple AC Generator

  • Super Glue (Elfi) 20 ml
  • Paper Tape
  • Iron Strips 2
  • 1/5′” PVC Pipe
  • 6″ long Iron Nail
  • LED’s
  • Copper Wire 30 to 34 gauge
  • 4 Magnets
  • 6” wooden Piece

Tools for Constructing Simple AC Generator

  • Iron saw
  • Soldiering Iron
  • Drill Machine
  • Screwdriver
  • pliers
  • Roller

Where are AC Generators Used

They are used in most applications such as:

  • Ac generators are used in automobiles.
  • They are also used in hydroelectric dams.
  • Ac generators are used as a source of electricity.
  • It can be used as the main source in remote areas.
  • It can be a standby source in case of the existence of critical loads.
  • Generators can be also synchronized with each other to provide greater power
  • Use for backup and where standby power is required or in a place where conventional electrical power lines are not available such as in the middle of a desert.
  • Use to maintain the supply voltage where the demand for power rises above the predicted level.
  • Some other uses of AC generators include outdoor events, powering floodlights in sports matches, camping & catering in remote locations.

Components of an AC Generator

  • Magnetic pole
  • Armature
  • Slip ring
  • Brush

Advantages of AC Generator

Basically AC generators seem to have a couple of big advantages over DC generators, the following are advantages of AC generator:

  • Generally, AC generators are maintenance-free or lower maintenance needed. This is because of the absence of brushes.
  • They cost-effectively (i.e cheaper to produce).
  • The power generates by the AC generator can easily step up and step down through its transformers.
  • The transmission link size seems to be thinner because of its step-up feature.
  • The size of AC generators is relatively smaller than that of the DC machine
  • The losses of these generators are relatively less than DC machine
  • AC generators breakers are relatively smaller than that of DC breakers

Conclusion

Ac generators are all around us, talk of the generator you use at the home, office, or workplace, and so on. All uses AC generator physics as well as the AC generator formula that enable them to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy thereby given out electricity power supply required by applications to run and function.

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