Electricity Generator Explained

Electricity Generator

Electricity Generator

Electricity Generator Fundamentals

Electricity Generator fundamentals involve the production of electrons that are a part of every atom,. Electricity is what results when electrons are flowing through a conductor. Ultimately, all that is needed to generate electricity is a metal wire for a conductor and a catalyst to start the electrons flowing.

This takes place in an electrical generator.

Alternating current is easily generated by means of a rotating magnet windings in a coil of wire (Fig. 9-14A), or by a rotating coil of wire inside a powerful magnet. In either case, the ac appears between the ends of the length of wire.

The ac voltage that a generator (motor) can develop depends on the strength of the magnets field, the number of turns in the wire coil, and the speed at which the magnet or coil rotates. The ac frequency depends only on the speed of rotation. Normally, for utility ac, this speed is 3,600 revolutions per minute (rpm), or 60 complete revolutions per second (rps), so that the frequency is 60 Hz.

When a load, such as a light bulb or heater, is connected to an ac generator, it becomes more difficult to turn the generator. The more power needed from a generator, the greater the amount of power required to drive it. This is why it is not possible to connect a generator to, for instance, your stationary bicycle, and pedal an entire city into electrification. There's no way to get something for nothing. The electrical power that comes out of a generator can never be more than the mechanical power driving it. In fact, there is always some energy lost, mainly as heat in the generator. Your legs might generate 50 W of power to run a small radio, but nowhere near enough to provide electricity for a household.

The efficiency of a generator is the ratio of the magnet generate power output to the driving power, both measured in the same units (such as watts or kilowatts), multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. No generator is 100 percent efficient. But a good one can come fairly close to this ideal.

At power plants, the generators are huge. Each one is as big as a house. The electricity generator is driven by a massive turbine. Often, steam drives the turbines, and the steam is obtained via heat derived from the natural energy source.

There are many different sources of electricity and many different ways electricity can be produced.

The most common method for generating electricity is moving a magnet around a conductor.


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Basic Electricity Handbook, Vol. 1
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  • FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTRICITY
  • HOW DOES ELECTRICITY WORK?
  • HOW IS ELECTRICITY GENERATED?
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