What is a Generator?
A generator (electrical) is a device that converts mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy.
Generators do not produce electricity itself, but simply produce a flow of electricity by forcing electrons from an external source to flow through an electrical circuit.
Generators are used for a wide variety of purposes and are available in many different forms.
Main Components of a Generator:
The main components of an electric generator can be broadly classified as follows (refer to illustration above):
(1) Engine (6) Lubrication System
(2) Alternator (7) Battery Charger
(3) Fuel System (8) Control Panel
(4) Voltage Regulator (9) Main Assembly / Frame
(5) Cooling and Exhaust Systems
The engine is the source of the input mechanical energy to the generator.
The alternator, also known as the 'genhead', is the part of the generator that produces the electrical output from the mechanical input supplied by the engine. It contains an assembly of stationary and moving parts encased in a housing. The components work together to cause relative movement between the magnetic and electric fields, which in turn generates electricity.
(3) Fuel System:
The fuel tank usually has sufficient capacity to keep the generator operational for 6 to 8 hours on an average.
(4) Voltage Regulator:
As the name implies, this component regulates the output voltage of the generator.
(5) Cooling & Exhaust Systems :
(a) Cooling System:
Continuous usage of the generator causes its various components to get heated up. It is essential to have a cooling and ventilation system to withdraw heat produced in the process.
(b) Exhaust System:
Exhaust fumes emitted by a generator are just like exhaust from any other diesel or gasonline engine and contain highly toxic chemicals that need to be properly managed.
(6) Lubricating System:
since the generator comprises moving parts in its engine, it requires lubrication to ensure durability and smooth operations for a long period of time.
(7) Battery Charger:
The start function of a generator is battery-operated
(8) Control Panel:
This is the user interface of the generator and contains provisions for electrical outlets and controls.
(9) Main Assembly / Frame:
all generators, portable or stationary, have customized housings that provide a structural base support. The frame also allows for the generated to be earthed for safety.