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AC Generator (Alternator)
- Construction And
By Kiran Daware AC Machines,

Synchronous Machines

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NOTE: This article is about

alternator. The term 'AC
generator' commonly refers to
'alternator'. Read about
'Induction Generators' here.

An alternator  is an electrical machine

which converts mechanical energy into
alternating electric energy. They are also
known as synchronous generators.

How Does An AC Generator

The working principle of an alternator
or AC generator is similar to the basic
Index Labels Popular posts
working principle of a DC generator. 1/6
4/25/2019 AC generator (alternator) - construction and working |

AC Machines
DC Machines
construction and
of a dc
DC Machines of generator
DC machines
Generatorand working of
DC AC generator or alternator
Induction motors
Starting of DCmachines
Speed DC motor works?
Power control
Electric principle and types
Power System Economics
Above gure helps you understanding of an Induction motor
Renewable Energy
how an alternator or AC generator Transformer losses and
AC Machines
Electrical Laws
works.  According to the Faraday's law of e ciency
Working of induction motors
electromagnetic induction, whenever a Basics
Di erence between
3 phase induction motor
conductor moves in a magnetic eld EMF Miscellaneous
synchronous motormachines
gets induced across the conductor. If the Starting of 3 phase IM
induction motor
close path is provided to the conductor, Speed control of IM
Overhead lines of DC motors
induced emf causes current to ow in the Induction generator
Speed control cables
methods of DC
motor generator
Now, see the above gure. Let the
Basic construction and
conductor coil ABCD is placed in a
magnetic eld. The direction of magnetic working of transformers
ux will be form N pole to S pole. The coil Working of transformer
Characteristics of DC
is connected to slip rings, and the load is
connected through brushes resting on
the slip rings. Popular Posts
Now, consider the case 1 from above
gure. The coil is rotating clockwise, in Basic construction and working
this case the direction of induced current of a DC Generator.
can be given by Fleming's right hand rule,
and it will be along A-B-C-D.
How a DC motor works?
As the coil is rotating clockwise, after half
of the time period, the position of the coil
will be as in second case of above gure. Open circuit and Short circuit
In this case, the direction of the induced Test on transformer
current according to Fleming's right hand
rule will be along D-C-B-A. It shows that,
Speed control methods of DC
the direction of the current changes after
half of the time period, that means we get
an alternating current.
Characteristics of DC motors
Construction Of AC Generator
(Alternator) 2/6
4/25/2019 AC generator (alternator) - construction and working |

Basics of electricity

Salient pole type alternator

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Main parts of the alternator, obviously,

consists of stator and rotor. But, the
unlike other machines, in most of the
alternators, eld exciters are rotating and
the armature coil is stationary.

Stator: Unlike in DC machine stator of an

alternator is not meant to serve path for
magnetic ux. Instead, the stator is used
for holding armature winding. The stator
core is made up of lamination of steel
alloys or magnetic iron, to minimize the
eddy current losses.

Why Armature Winding Is Stationary Power System Miscellaneous

In An Alternator? AC Machines DC Machines

At high voltages, it easier to insulate Transformer Overhead lines

stationary armature winding, which Induction Motor Underground cables

may be as high as 30 kV or more.
Miscellaneous machines
The high voltage output can be
directly taken out from the Power System Economics
stationary armature. Whereas, for a
Renewable Energy
rotary armature, there will be large
brush contact drop at higher Synchronous machines
voltages, also the sparking at the
Power Distribution Basics
brush surface will occur.
Field exciter winding is placed in Electrical laws

rotor, and the low dc voltage can be

transferred safely. Quick Links 3/6
4/25/2019 AC generator (alternator) - construction and working |

The armature winding can be braced Home Write for us

well, so as to prevent deformation
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caused by the high centrifugal force.
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Rotor:  There are two types of rotor used

in an AC generator / alternator:
(i) Salient and (ii) Cylindrical type

1. Salient pole type: Salient pole type

rotor is used in low and medium
speed alternators. Construction of
AC generator of salient pole type
rotor is shown in the gure above.
This type of rotor consists of large
number of projected poles (called
salient poles), bolted on a magnetic
wheel. These poles are also
laminated to minimize the eddy
current losses. Alternators featuring
this type of rotor are large in
diameters and short in axial length.
2. Cylindrical type: Cylindrical type
rotors are used in high speed
alternators, especially in turbo
alternators. This type of rotor
consists of a smooth and solid steel
cylinder havingg slots along its outer
periphery. Field windings are placed
in these slots.

The DC suppy is given to the rotor

winding through the slip rings and and
brushes arrangement.

Connecting an alternator in grid is called

as synchronization of alternator, read
more about it at the link.

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