It is incredible how electricity has made our lives easier and more convenient. Now, if you ever wonder how electricity is able to get into your home, we have the AC voltage regulator to thank for. Read on to find out more about AC generators, how they work, and their advantages.
What Is an AC Voltage Generator?
Alternating Current or AC Generators are electric generators responsible for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. AC Generators are also referred to as alternators, and they work on the basis of Michael Faraday’s law of Electromagnetic Induction. The law states that whenever a conductor is placed in a varying magnetic field, Electromotive force or emf is induced. This induced EMF is equal to the rate of change of the magnetic flux linkages.
Emf is produced when there is either relative time variation or relative space between the conductor and magnetic field. Hence, both the magnetic field and the motion of a conductor in a magnetic field are the critical elements of a generator.
How does an AC Voltage Generator Work?
Most of the households today use the AC (Alternating Current) for power. Unlike the DC (Direct Current), AC voltages can be easily transformed or converted into lower or higher voltages and are efficient for long-distance transmission.
AC generators provide an important means to produce the AC voltage. With the help of another device called the transformers, AC voltage can be reduced into lower voltage easily to make them safe for household or commercial use with very minimal power loss during the transmission process.
AC generators are made up of two poles – the north and south pole, creating a uniform magnetic field. There is also an armature, which is a rectangular-shaped coil. The coils are connected to the metal slip rings which are insulated from each other. Meanwhile, these rings are attached to the carbon brushes, and the other end of the brush connects to the circuit. The rectangular coils rotate between the two poles upon an axis which is perpendicular to the magnetic field. The magnetic flux that connects with the armature changes continuously inducing emf and which in turn produces electricity.
Types of AC Voltage Generators
There are two main types of AC Voltage Generators as follows:
- Induction Generator
Also known as Asynchronous Generators, Induction Generators are AC electric generators that require no separate regulator controls, frequency control, DC excitation system, or governing device. This concept occurs when conductor coils turn in a magnetic field initializing both a current and a voltage. Induction generators should run at a steady speed to convey a stable AC voltage, even without an available load.
- Synchronous generators
Primarily used in electric power plants, Synchronous Generators are typically large size AC generators. They come in two types, rotating field and rotating armature. In a rotating armature, the armature is at the rotor while the field is at the stator. The rotating field alternator is known because of its excellent power generation ability and the absence of slip rings and brushes in its components.
The Advantages of an AC Voltage Generator
AC Voltage Generators offer a number of benefits, in the electrical industry, and these are the following:
- With the absence of brushes, these AC generators are generally maintenance-free.
- AC voltage produced by the alternators can be easily step up and step down via the transformers.
- Because of its impressive step-up feature, it’s transmission link size is relatively thinner.
- The size of the AC generator is relatively smaller compared to the DC one.
- Compared to the DC Generators, power losses are relatively less in AC generators.
- AC Generator breakers are significantly smaller than the DC generators.