Generator is vital to every home, Why?
I guess nobody wants to stay in the dark if the electricity is gone and tons of foods on the fridge will get rotten, right? An immediate power source is a must and always available whenever disaster hits the town, it’s better to be ready than sorry.
Having a good quality generator could be a life saver during disaster. Not only that, a portable generator is great in any outdoor activities and if you’re working on projects for a living, having one is definitely a must.
However, most genset are also used for outdoor activities such as camping, RVing, sports events, and job sites if you’re working on projects in remote areas.
Choosing the right generator for your needs could be confusing if you don’t have any idea about it. Here are some important terms you need to know first in order to wisely decide which one is the most suitable for you.
What Is A Genset Generator?
A genset is a short name for generator set. Physically, a genset is consists of engine mounted on a steel frame together with its other components such as battery (for electric start), outlets, fuel tank, muffler and wirings.
A generator is a piece of equipment whose purpose is to produce electrical power. It provides outlets on the panel that connects different types of your electrical appliances for various applications.
What Is The Basic Principle Of A Generator?
The basic principle of an electric generator is to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy as an output. This energy is useful to supply your home appliances and devices.
The mechanical part of the generator is run by an external source. There are different types of sources that can be use such as Gasoline (which is common), propane (LPG), Natural Gas and Diesel.
To further understand this, the generator does not actually create the electrical energy. Instead, it uses its mechanical energy to force the movement of electrical charges which is present in the wire through its windings.
The flow of electrical charges is distributed to its outlet panel where you can plug your home appliances and other electric devices.
This is comparable to a water pump that causes the flow of water but it doesn’t create the water that flows through it.
To further understand the basic operation of the generator you need to know first its basic parts below.
Electric Generator Basic Parts
Magnetic Poles – Magnets with North and South poles that allows to travel the magnetic fields from north to south direction to attract each other.
Conductor Wire –is a loop of wires that spins between the magnetic poles.
Slip Rings – this is where the two end of the conductor is attached that creates an electrical connection through the rotating assembly. In short, it is an electric transmission device that transmits the energy from the conductor.
Carbon Brush – is a device that carries out the current between stationary wires and moving parts.
How The Electric Generator Works? Explained in simple terms
Electric generator works through the process which is commonly known as “electromagnetic induction”. To start the process, there should be a source that moves the conductor.
The source could be wind, coal, oil, nuclear, hydro and the most commonly used which is gas (gasoline, propane, natural gas and diesel).
The movement of the conductor in a circular direction between the two magnetic fields induces the flow of electric charges.
As the conductor wire moves, it creates a voltage difference between the two ends of wire that causes the movements of electric charges to flow the generated current.
As the conductor revolves between the magnetic fields it doesn’t produce a steady current instead, an Alternating Current (AC).
Why is it?
Because, the conductor keeps on changing its position as it revolves.
At the time of the starting position of the conductor it produces zero voltage (0v) and rises up to its positive peak voltage at quarter time. This happens when the conductor reaches 90-degrees of its position. (refer to the picture below)…
After passing through the 90-degree position it drops back the voltage approaching to zero. And it results in zero volt (0v) when it reaches the 180-degree position.
At passed 180-degree position the voltage continues to rise on the negative voltage until it reaches its negative peak voltage at 270-degree. Then it goes back to zero again when it completed the 360-dgree full turn.
This is what we called “one complete cycle” of an Alternating Current (AC) which is also equivalent to a one full rotation of the conductor wire.
Thus, the rising and falling of the voltage alternately is directly proportional to the position of the conductor wire on its magnetic poles.
Moreover, if you put a galvanometer (an instrument that detects electrical current) at the output it will shows a back and forth movement of the needle. It points on the negative peak voltage up to the positive peak voltage that shows an alternating current is present at the generator’s output.
Watch the video to further understand how the generator works…
Types Of Generator
The types of generator you’ll need to know are the standby and portable. These two can be run by gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane to produce 120v outputs and other includes a 220v AC outlet to power up your home appliances.
Propane powered generators is perfectly suited if gasoline is inadequate, this is ideal at home with the availability of gas tank in almost any kitchen household.
Standby generators are permanently installed in your home or in any commercial place that gives you continuous power source whenever the electricity cuts-off.
Most often it is located outside the residence area for safety purposes due to the smoke it produces that may cause harm to your family. Another thing is that the noise it creates is annoying at some instances.
The generator is wired directly to your electrical system that provides an alternate power source to your important appliances such as lights, cooker, microwave oven and refrigerator.
Portable generators have the advantage for being versatile. They are light weight for easy carry along and for heavy generators that demands higher power level have wheels. These generators are perfect for camping, any job-site, recreational activities and for your home use as well.
Types Of Portable Generator
There are two types of portable generator that are commonly use, the Conventional Alternator and Inverter Alternator. Each of these has its own advantage over the other, it’s important to know it to help you identify the best suited for your needs. The following definition may help to give you some idea about it.
Conventional Alternator Generators uses the traditional type of motor with bulky winding inside on it. The main advantage of it is a higher power it can deliver and cheaper. On the negative side, it is generally louder and heavier.
Inverter Alternator Generators are lighter, silent, compact and fuel efficient than conventional generators. Having greater advantages, this is the reason why it is commonly chosen by most people for various applications.