Learning how electric generators work is a complex and scientific endeavor, but learning the various types of electric generators can be fun and easy. Whether you deal with generator installation, generator preventative maintenance, or some other kind of generator services learning the various types of electric generators can be valuable to a slew of professionals and laymen alike.
Learning the specifics behind electric generators is a crucial safety aspect as well. Electrical fires cause approximately $1.4 billion a year in property damage. In fact, home-based electrical systems are the cause of nearly 55,000 fires a year, resulting in more than 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
In that honor, here are five types of electric generators and some basic information about each.
- Alternating Electric Generators: For starters, there are technically two main types of electric generators: alternating electric generators and dynamos electric generators. Alternators literally generate alternating current. This in turn may then be rectified by another (external or directly incorporated) system. The earliest forms of alternating generators came from Michael Faraday’s original discovery of the magnetic induction of electric current in 1831.
- Dynamos Electric Generators: The first types of electric generators was actually the dynamos generators. These generators generate direct current, typically through the use of a commutator. Usually the voltage and currents can fluctuate within these types of electric generators.
- Homopolar Generator: Within the two main types there are various subdivision of generators. The homopolar is one of these generator types. The homopolar is a direct current generator that comprises of an electrically conductive disc or cylinder rotating in a plane perpendicular to a uniform static magnetic field. Other names for this generator are unipolar generator, acyclic generator, disk dynamo, or Faraday disc.
- MHD Generator: The MHD is another type of direct current generator. This particular generators draws its power from moving hot gases through a magnetic field, without the use of rotating electromagnetic machinery.
- Induction Generator: One specific type of alternating generator is the induction generator. These generators work by turning mechanical energy into an electric current by turning their rotor faster than the synchronous speed, giving negative slip.
Air conditioners use approximately 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States, some of which is produced through the types of generators mentioned above.