It doesn’t matter whether you are poor or rich, or from which walk of life you belong. electricity is a huge invention of mankind upon which we all are equally dependent. electricity is now a vital need of our lives. In today’s daily life almost everything is powered by electricity. There are several ways and techniques of making electricity by using various resources available to mankind. For example, wind, water, waves, oil, diesel, coal, steam, etc can be used to produce electricity. all these energy forms must be converted to become electric energy. This form of energy conversion for the production of electricity is now done by using devices like alternators, generators, motors, dynamos, etc. today we will specifically be discussing the alternator vs generator relationship with complete description.
To understand the complex working of these mechanisms first let’s take a look at the basics of these devices.
What Is A Generator?
In the late 1890s Generators made an appearance for the first time in human history. A generator is a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy either by using AC current or DC current. A generator can use both devices individually or both at the same time.
As compared to an alternator a generator is more expensive. It is also very large and space-consuming.
A generator consists of several parts making a complicated mechanism used for electricity production. The construction of the generator depends upon whether it uses an AC current or DC current mechanism. Also, numerous brands in the market produce several kinds of generators adding their specific characters and features according to their specialty and signature.
Generators are for large-scale, long-time use. Generators are used in commercial, residential, industrial areas, and community buildings. Generators are used in case of emergencies like extreme weather conditions, blackouts, or random power outages. In simple words, the basic function of a generator is to provide a temporary source of electricity in case of an emergency outage.
Generators are basically of several types some of which include portable home generators, standby generators, inverter generators, industrial generators, etc.
What Is An Alternator?
In 1832, a French inventor Hippolyta Pixi invented and presented an Alternator for the first time in human history.
A machine producing alternating current (AC) with a continuous change in direction is called an Alternator.
To make an Alternator work, we need mechanical energy, a conductor, and a magnetic field to produce electrical energy. This principle of working is called Electromagnetic induction.
The building of an alternator is very simple and low maintenance. It is also very cost-efficient and lightweight. An alternator is made up of two parts.
- Rotor: the part that rotates.
- Stator: the part that does not move and stays stationary.
An alternator is of various types depending upon its function and design. Its output amount increases and decreases with the change in its speed. The high temperature also affects the performance of an alternator.
We can use an alternator in different situations including, marine appliances, automobiles, electrical power generation plants, radiofrequency transmission, multiple diesel-based electrical units, etc. mainly alternators are used in the automobile industry as a charging system for the battery.
Basic Differences Of Alternator vs Generator Are Given Below
When it comes to alternator vs generator the capability of efficient use of the energy we consider the alternator the most efficient of all. An alternator has a very high level of efficiency. generators are less energy-efficient as compared to an alternator.
If we compare the magnetic field movement of the three, the alternator has a rotating magnetic field. A generator can come in both categories as its magnetic field is either still or dependent upon the direction of armature which moves according to the wind.
RPM stands for Rotation Per Minute. An alternator has the highest range of RPM varying from 6000 RPM to 12,000RPM. After that, the generator consists of a range from 1800 RPM to 3600 RPM if the generator needs to produce 60Hz of frequency. This makes the generator with the lowest RPM out of the two alternators vs the generator.
Every machinery needs regular maintenance to work properly and for a long time. The process of maintenance can either be manual or automatic depending upon the advancement of the device. An alternator has very low maintenance requirements and it also costs less. A generator comes second in comparison to these two. The maintenance level of a generator depends upon its manufacturing and machinery. The cost also depends upon the maintenance level but it is mostly less than the alternator.
Charging Of A Dead Battery
In this comparison of alternator vs generator, we observed that a generator can be used to charge a dead battery. But you cannot charge a dead battery using an alternator.
An alternator can only use the amount of energy needed at the moment only, so it conserves a lot of its energy. A generator uses most of its energy, so it does not conserve much energy.
An alternator takes the input supply of energy through the stator whereas a generator takes the input supply of energy through the rotor. a generator takes energy input supply through the rotor.
To function properly, an alternator does not need to be polarized. But a generator needs to be polarized after installation.
In this category comparison of alternator vs generator, we can say that an alternator has the highest output rate if we make a comparison between these two. Although a generator has almost the same output rate with only a negligible difference.
The brushes of an alternator are said to last the longest out of three of these options. the brushes of an alternator last the longest. The longevity of working brushes of a generator depends upon their quality, but still, they last more when compared in some situations.
Advantages Of An Alternator
As obvious from the above comparisons an alternator is a better option than a generator. To further confirm this key point we have also gathered separately some advantages of an alternator which are mentioned below;
An alternator is very small in size which makes it very easy to fit in narrow and small engine and machinery compartments.
Due to its very small size, it is obviously very light in weight. This makes an alternator a very convenient option for efficient seeking pieces of machinery and for better representation of the machine.
Due to the alternator consisting of solid rings shape mechanism it is easier for brushes to dust and clean it off. Hence less maintenance is needed.
Due to the higher rotation speed of an alternator, it can overall generate way higher output energy than a generator.
This equation of alternator vs generator has finally been solved and explained. We have described both of these in the above article with the hope that you will understand the true differences between them for better use in daily life. an alternator is considered almost the most efficient if we compare these two. Both of these devices are used to convert some form of energy (mostly mechanical energy) into electrical energy for temporary or permanent use. With the hope that you will take with you at least a bit of the information shared above and will use it for your future investments.