What Is the Purpose of an Alternator?

Posted by Unknown on 11:18 PM with 2 comments

What Is the Purpose of an Alternator?

If you have ever used a DC generator, you would find no trouble getting yourself acquainted with an alternator or even constructing one yourself. What differentiates an alternator with a DC generator is the absence of permanent magnets for creating a magnetic field that would allow electricity to be produced.

Alternators are designed using wound concentric coils including the fixed stator coil and the rotor coil which gives the alternator its flow. This stator coil is also referred to as the alternator’s field, as a clockwise movement in the field coil when passed with current produces the electromagnet. This magnet constantly changes its polarity to and fro, producing an alternating current which gives the name to this amazing power generator.

Engineers over the years have found alternators to be alternatives for the typical DC generators as they are comparatively more efficient, compact, light weight, more reliable and best of all these alternators can be used in heavy late model vehicles where more voltage is produced even at idle speeds. Some find it quite amazing to see that the alternator that initially required an external source of current to run, eventually gets to produce its own electricity which when simply rectified through use of diodes transforms the output into direct current which could be used to charge the battery again. And when it does, the initial supply from the battery cuts out and the alternator becomes a self sustaining producer of electricity in vehicles and huge machines.

Purpose & Benefits
The advantages and usage have been reaped well by special purpose military vehicles to quite some extent as the use of high frequency radios, advanced GPS navigational systems, ammunitions and several other devices that require lots of electricity to keep the inmates mobile and armed. DC generators cannot really provide the energy to keep the batteries charged or help operate electronic devices especially when the vehicles are running on low speeds and thus low rotations per minute engines. Alternators in such situations really come in handy as the limited input of current tends to produce a self sustaining electricity generator.

Modern Usage
Alternators are usually fitted on the front end of the engine with one fixed and one adjustable belt. In modern cars, the alternator is forced into action by the crankshaft which converts the up and down motion of the pistons and converts them into a circular motion to drive the rotor fields. The use of alternators is becoming very crucial in sports cars and modern luxury cars for their added features like power windows, automatic gear shifts, halogen lights, GPS systems and various other devices which require lots of electricity which my never be provided under any other generator other than an alternator itself.
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