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Electric generator

Electric generator

An electric generator is a machine that transforms rotational mechanical energy into electrical energy. In this sense, it works in the opposite sense of how an electric motor works.

An electric generator is any device capable of maintaining an electrical potential difference (voltage) between two points, called poles or terminals. Electric generators are electrical machines designed to transform mechanical energy into electrical. This transformation is achieved by the action of a magnetic field on the electric conductors arranged in coils on a sheet metal frame. If a relative movement occurs between the conductors and the field mechanically, an electromotive force is generated, as physicist Michael Faraday discovered.

It could also be called fem generation machine (motive electric force).

Electric current generators can be of two types:

  • DC Electric Generator
  • Electric AC generator. The latter is usually called the alternator.

All generators need a power machine of some kind to produce the rotational force, whereby a conductor can cut off the magnetic force lines and produce a fem (motive electric force). The simplest engine of the engines and generators is the alternator.

Types of Electric Generators

Electric generators can be classified depending on where primary energy appears.

  • Chemical electrical generators. Such as batteries and batteries, since they convert into electricity the energy of certain chemical reactions.
  • Mechanical electrical generators. Wind turbines and hydroelectric plants include alternators, formerly dynamos that transform mechanical energy into electrical energy. They are based on the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction.
  • Photovoltaic electric generators. Photovoltaic panels generate electricity from light.

History of electrical generators

Firstly, there were only battery systems to supply electricity consumption, until in 1831 the physicist Michael Faraday published his works on electromagnetic induction, later completed by the physicist Franz Ernst Neumann in 1841, this concluded in the manufacture of Dynamos, which supply direct current. But the direct current could not be distributed over great distances, and with the invention of the alternator, and the transformer, this was possible.

These first electric machines were driven by steam engines, and later internal combustion engines, hydraulic turbines and wind turbines were used.

Also noteworthy, the momentum they are having today, photovoltaic devices formed by semiconductors.

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Last review: November 17, 2016

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