Electric Generator – An Introductory Overview

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An electrical generator is a vital electronic appliance that transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. Resources of mechanical energy consist of superheated steam turbines, gas turbines, wind turbines, and hand cranks. Electrical generators supply the majority of the power that is needed for electrical power grids

Electric generators are separate devices that provide electricity when power from the regional grid is absent. Industrial generators are often made use of to provide backup power to center facilities or houses during power blackouts. Yet, they can also be utilized as a main source of power in locations where a regional electrical grid is inaccessible or hard to access, such as mining as well as farming procedures or perhaps new growths as well as building. For remote power capability such as a small island, the generator is the primary source of electricity.

The electrical generator is a crucial part that transforms the rotational motion of the turbine shaft into electricity. The electric generator includes the rotor, which is covered with electromagnets, and the stator, which has an inner surface area made of pure copper windings. When the rotor rotates inside the stator, it creates electron vibration in the copper windings; electron activity will undoubtedly create an electrical current flow.

Finally, An Electric generator is an Electric Machine used to produce electric energy, which can be stored in some storage devices like- batteries or directly supplied to gird for our homes, industry, shops or, offices and so on

Functions of electric generators

  • Power: Electric generators have a varied range of power output capacity are conveniently offered. Whatever the power demand, there is a wide range of generators based on power requirements.
  • Fuel Types: Fossil Fuel or Hydrocarbon such as diesel, petrol, natural gas, LPG, etc., are the primary fuel sources for electric generators. The main task is to create rotational speed or torque; the turbine produces rotational movements, fuel gives mechanical power for the rotating turbine. Wind, Water are being used for creating rotational movements of the turbine.
  • Portability Packability: Different types of generators exist in the marketplace, having handles or wheels attached to them to move from place to place.
  • Noise Cancellations: Few specific generators have noise cancellation technology, which allows them to be kept at proximity without any noise pollution problems

Applications of electric generators

  • Electric generators are valuable for industry-to-home purposes for power outages scenario. They remain as a backup to confirm that the electric appliances receive continuous electricity supply.
  • In remote areas, where leading grid electricity cannot be operated, electric generators provide electricity supply for that area.
  • When at work on development project sites where power supply cannot be retrieved from the grid, an electric Generator is the only way to get power supply.

How does a generator work?

An electric generator is a machine that converts mechanical energy gained from an outside source into electrical power as its output. The modern and latest generator executes the principle of electromagnetic induction discovered by great scientist Michael Faraday between 1831-32.

It is necessary to recognize that a generator does not, in fact, ‘develop’ electrical energy. Instead, it utilizes the mechanical energy provided to it to require the motion of electrical charges existing in the wire of its windings via an external electrical circuit. This movement of electric charges creates the output electric current supplied by the generator. These functions can be understood by seeing the generator comparable to a water pump, which grounds water flow but does not indeed ‘produce’ the Water flowing via itself.

Main components of a generator

The main components of an electric generator can be broadly classified as follows:

  • Engine
  • Alternator
  • Fuel System
  • Voltage Regulator
  • Cooling and Exhaust Systems
  • Lubrication System
  • Battery Charger
  • Control Panel
  • Main Assembly / Frame


The engine is the source of the input mechanical energy to the generator. The size of the machine is directly proportional to the maximum power output the generator can supply. There are several factors that you need to keep in mind while assessing the engine of your generator. The manufacturer of the engine should be consulted to obtain full engine operation specifications and maintenance schedules.


The alternator, also known as the ‘genhead’, is 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 generates electricity.

Stator – This is the stationary component. It contains a set of electrical conductors wound in coils over an iron core.

Rotor / Armature – This is the moving component that produces a rotating magnetic field in any one of the following three ways:

Fuel System

The fuel tank has the necessary capacity to keep the generator operational for 6 to 8 hours on average. In the case of small generator units, the fuel tank is a part of the generator’s skid base or is mounted on top of the generator frame.

Standard features of the fuel system are –

  • Pipe connection from the fuel tank to the engine.
  • Ventilation pipe for fuel tank
  • Overflow connection from the fuel tank to the drain
  • Fuel pump
  • Fuel Water Separator
  • Fuel Injector

Voltage Regulator

This mechanism regulates the output voltage of the generator. The scheme is described below against each component that plays a part in voltage regulation’s cyclical process.

Voltage Regulator (Conversion of AC Voltage to DC Current) – The voltage regulator takes up a small portion of the generator’s output of AC voltage and converts it into DC. The voltage regulator then feeds this DC to a set of secondary windings in the stator, known as exciter windings.

Exciter Windings (Conversion of DC Current to AC Current) – The exciter windings now function similarly to the primary stator windings and generate a small AC. The exciter windings are connected to units known as rotating rectifiers.

Rotating Rectifiers (Conversion of AC Current to DC Current) – These rectify the AC generated by the exciter windings and convert it to DC. This DC is fed to the rotor/armature to create an electromagnetic field in addition to the rotating magnetic field of the rotor/armature.

Rotor / Armature (Conversion of DC Current to AC Voltage) – The rotor/armature now induces a larger AC voltage across the stator’s windings, which the generator now produces as a larger output AC voltage.

This cycle continues till the generator begins to produce output voltage equivalent to its total operating capacity.

Cooling & Exhaust System

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 the heat produced in the process.

Water is sometimes used as a coolant for generators. However, these are mostly limited to specific situations like small generators in city applications or large units over 2250 kW and above. Hydrogen is sometimes used as a coolant for large generator units’ stator windings since it is more efficient at absorbing heat than other coolants. Hydrogen removes heat from the generator and transfers it through a heat exchanger into a secondary cooling circuit containing de-mineralized Water as a coolant. This is why massive generators and small power plants often have large cooling towers next to them.  For all other typical residential and industrial applications, a standard radiator and fan are mounted on the generator and works as the primary cooling system.

Exhaust System – Exhaust fumes emitted by a generator are just like exhaust from any other diesel or gasoline engine and contain highly toxic chemicals that need to be correctly managed. Hence, it is essential to install an adequate exhaust system to dispose of the exhaust gases.

Exhaust pipes are usually attached to the engine using flexible connectors to minimize vibrations and prevent damage to the generator’s exhaust system. The exhaust pipe terminates outdoors and leads away from doors, windows and other openings to the house or building.

Lubricating System

Since the generator comprises moving parts in its engine, it requires lubrication to ensure durability and smooth operations for an extended period. The generator’s engine is lubricated by oil stored in a pump.

Battery Charger

The start function of a generator is battery-operated. The battery charger keeps the generator battery charged by supplying it with a precise ‘float’ voltage. If the float voltage is very low, the battery will remain undercharged. If the float voltage is very high, it will shorten the life of the storm. Battery chargers are usually made of stainless steel to prevent corrosion. They are also fully automatic and do not require any adjustments to be made or any settings to be changed. The battery charger’s DC output voltage is set at 2.33 volts per cell, which is the precise float voltage for lead-acid batteries. The battery charger has an isolated DC voltage output that does interfere with the generator’s normal functioning.

Control Panel

This is the user interface of the generator and contains provisions for electrical outlets and controls. Different manufacturers have varied features to offer in the control panels of their units. Some of these are described below.

Electric start and shut-down – Auto start control panels automatically start your generator during a power outage, monitor the generator while in operation, and automatically shut down the unit when no longer required.

Engine gauges – Different gauges indicate essential parameters such as oil pressure, the temperature of the coolant, battery voltage, engine rotation speed, and duration of the operation. Constant measurement and monitoring of these parameters enable the built-in shutdown of the generator when they cross their respective threshold levels.

Generator gauges – The control panel also has meters to measure output current and voltage and operating frequency.

Other controls – Phase selector switch, frequency switch, and engine control switch (manual mode, auto mode) among others.

Main Assembly/Frame

All generators, portable or stationary, have customized housings that provide structural base support. The frame also allows for the generated to be earthed for safety.

Types of generators

Generators produce electric energy in the form of current and voltage. Based on the electromagnetic induction principle, generators make electric power. There are two fundamental types of generators

  1. AC (alternating current) and
  2. DC (direct current) generators

Various types of generators are complicatedly related to the level of their application. Based on specific applications, different generators consist of portable generators, inverter generators, standby generators, industrial generators, and induction generators.

Portable generators

It appropriate in vibrant applications. They originate in varying power configurations suitable for different types of uses. Gas or diesel are used as fuel sources for the portable generator and can deliver temporary electricity supply.

Some prominent features to mention –

  • Can plug into electrical appliances or tools via its sockets.
  • Suitable for remote spots and small facilities.
  • Can run TV, small freezer or similar machine or tools.
  • Deliver the 60hz standard current, 50hz also be supplied
  • Control mechanism needs
  • Can provide electricity of small machine lights.

Portable generators are convenient during natural disasters or calamities when grid power breaks down occur. They provide power during different power outage scenarios. They are more suitable for residential and smaller commercial purposes, at construction sites for powering various equipment, camping spots, outdoor weddings, outdoor activities, and powering some agricultural kits.

Inverter generators

Inverter generators produce AC, and the rectifier converts that AC into DC supply and vice versa based on appliances requirements. Used in air-conditioners, refrigerators, automobiles, boats, and recreation vehicles which need particular values of voltage and frequency

  • Actual O/P AC power, AC-DC conversion possible
  • Suitable for car, RV, or boat.

Standby generators

In case of grid failure, standby generators are used as a backup. These are very useful for connecting Residential or commercial spaces to the grid power.

Some prominent features of standby generators are –

  • Automatic Operation.
  • Power protection solutions.
  • Standby and automatic switch transfer accessibility.
  • Use sensing technology, detect the power, and boots up electricity
  • The automatic weekly self-tests facility needs to see that it is appropriately reacting to a power loss scenario.
  • It is used as an additional safety kit for elevators, standby lighting, medical and life support equipment, and fire protection systems.

Industrial generators

Applications of the Industrial generators are quite different from residential or small-scale applications. Industrial generators are more robust, solid, and rugged and perform under harsh conditions.

  • Rated kW level power supply for 1 phase to 3 phase line.
  • Customized made based on different applications
  • Usually used diesel, gasoline, natural gas, kerosene, and propane as fuel

Induction generator

These comprise two types –

  1. Externally excited generators
  2. Self-excited generators.

The elevators, hoists, cranes and electric locomotives, and related appliances need an external exciting types generator. For the windmills, Self-excited generators are used where wind as a non-traditional source of energy gets converted into electric power.

Where Can I Purchase the Right Electric Generators?

There are many generator suppliers globally, but finding the most specific one is really tough. As modern technology advances and makes complexities increase, our clients require the proficiency, supply, first-rate solution, and time to get their product to market quickly.

Gallon Electric’s diverse, versatile, and also strategically-organized business units recognize every step of the item life cycle with a mix of complete services.

If you plan to purchase the electric generator for a commercial purpose and commit to keeping your accesses open during any emergency, take your time to decide. Take help from professional engineers. Find an authorized distributor who can answer your questions, assess your situation, and guide you to the best purchasing decision based on your specific needs.

Gallon Electric (Headquarter in Tokyo, Japan) is one of the fastest-growing worldwide authorized distributors of electronic components and machinery.

Gallon is an authorized dealer who meets individual requirements and is qualified to supply the best quality products, services, and support on product manufacturers’ behalf. Gallon Electric has a solid commitment to customer service. That is why we have an excellent reputation for our legendary worldwide customer service excellence. We understand the value of having a knowledgeable person there to answer your questions quickly. We are determined to redefine customer-oriented distribution.

We can help with your electric generator and other related tools buying and match you up with the perfect machine for the job!

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