January 26, 2014

What is the difference between AC and DC Generator?

A generator produces electricity in a form that looks like a linear sine wave: first it is positive and then negative.

To create AC electricity, the central shaft carrying windings - which is called the rotor - has slip rings connected to the ends of the winding. In a single-phase generator (more correctly called an "alternator") the outer slip ring is attached to one end of the rotor's winding and the inner slip ring is attached to the other end of the rotor's winding. (In a three-phase alternator there are three separate windings and three sets of slip rings. Each slip ring is connected to the ends of one pair of the windings in such a manner that no windings are shorted-out.) The slip rings are touched by fixed brushes to take off the AC current.

To generate DC electricity, the central shaft carries a part called a "commutator" which has many separate segments. Each segment in sequence around the commutator is connected to the opposite ends of the rotor's winding . As the rotor spins round, two fixed brushes diametrically opposite one another connect to those segments one by one. Thus, as the rotor spins, one brush always picks up the positive wire from the winding and the opposite brush picks up the negative wire from the winding. So, as the shaft rotates, the two brushes always remain positive or negative.


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