Generator vs. Alternator

By Jaxson

  • Alternator

    An alternator is an electrical generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of alternating current. For reasons of cost and simplicity, most alternators use a rotating magnetic field with a stationary armature. Occasionally, a linear alternator or a rotating armature with a stationary magnetic field is used. In principle, any AC electrical generator can be called an alternator, but usually the term refers to small rotating machines driven by automotive and other internal combustion engines.

    An alternator that uses a permanent magnet for its magnetic field is called a magneto. Alternators in power stations driven by steam turbines are called turbo-alternators. Large 50 or 60 Hz three-phase alternators in power plants generate most of the world’s electric power, which is distributed by electric power grids.

  • Generator (noun)

    One who, or that which, generates, begets, causes, or produces.

  • Generator (noun)

    An apparatus in which vapour or gas is formed from a liquid or solid by means of heat or chemical process, as a steam boiler, gas retort etc.

  • Generator (noun)

    The principal sound or sounds by which others are produced; the fundamental note or root of the common chord; — see also generating tone.

  • Generator (noun)

    An element of a group that is used in the presentation of the group: one of the elements from which the others can be inferred with the given relators.

  • Generator (noun)

    One of the lines of a ruled surface; more generally, an element of some family of linear spaces.

  • Generator (noun)

    A piece of apparatus, equipment, etc, to convert or change energy from one form to another.

  • Generator (noun)

    A subordinate piece of code which, given some initial parameters, will generate multiple output values on request.

  • Alternator (noun)

    An electric generator which produces alternating current through mechanical means.


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