AC Generators

AC generators are mechanisms which convert mechanical energy into electricity. They work by changing the number of magnetic flux lines (the lines of force) passing through wire coil. As the coil rotates, electrons create a current. The voltage it produces depends on a number of factors: the number of turns in the coil, the strength of the magnetic field and the speed at which it rotates. There are two main types of AC generators: the induction and the synchronous generator. The induction generator draws power from a connected system and cannot be isolated from this source of power whilst in the synchronous generator (or alternator) the current for the magnetic field is provided by a separate DC current source. Sometimes they are categorised according to whether they are standby generators (which are fixed) or portable. The majority of electric power which is used today is produced by AC generators since it is easily distributed over long distances at high voltages and then stepped down using a transformer. This means that they power most domestic appliances and industrial machinery. AC generators or motors can also be fitted into aircraft and cars to cover transportation needs too.

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