Types Of Generators

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What is a Generator?

There was a time when the battery was the only method for deriving electricity. However, it was costly.

To replace this method, nowadays, people install a device outside their homes to utilize electricity whenever there is a power cut. 

What is that device people utilize to get electricity?

Well, this device is the generator.

A generator is a device that takes energy from the source and converts it into electrical energy.

When we provide a torque to the generator, it continues to rotate.

So, rotational mechanics occur because of mechanical energy. Due to this motion, we get electricity.

It works on the principle of conservation of energy. 

According to the conservation of energy, the generator doesn’t produce energy; it only transforms one form of energy into another.


Principle of a Generator

A generator works on the principle of electromagnetic induction (EMI).

What is EMI?

Suppose a closed coil is placed between the N and the S pole as shown below:

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If we look at the above diagram, the magnetic field lines pass from the North to the South pole.

As the coil rotates, the number of magnetic field lines crossing this coil varies. 

Because of the change in the number of magnetic field lines during the rotation of the coil, electricity generates. This phenomenon is called EMI.


Induced Current

EMI is an interesting phenomenon in physics. It states that if we keep on changing the number of magnetic field lines, neither increase nor decrease them, a type of current, a generator, produces the induced current.

So, what does induced mean?

The word induced means intangible. 

The induced current is also intangible because we don’t touch the coil, only the varying magnetic field lines passing through the rotating coil, and we are getting electricity.


Now, let’s talk about the different types of Generators.

Types of Generators

There are mainly three types of Electric Generators (or the types of power generators) that are outlined:

  1. Portable Generators

  2. Inverter Generators

  3. Standby Generators

The common types of Generators are:

  1. Gasoline Generators

  2. Diesel Fuel Generators

  3. Propane Gas or Vapor Generators 

  4. Biodiesel Generators

  5. Emulsified Diesel Generators

  6. Natural Gas Generators

  7. Hydrogen Generator

Now, let’s discuss these one-by-one


Portable Generators

If you wish to use a generator that is light-weight, safe to use, reliable, and soundproof, and outdoor enthusiasts, then installing portable generators outside is the best choice for you.

These residential generators are diesel-powered devices that provide temporary electrical power. 

We use them to fulfill our essential home power needs during power-outages, for powering cabin appliances, or for power tools needed during projects. 

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Inverter Generators

If you prefer the output on low energy emissions and a small, quiet working device, then installing the inverter generator would be the first choice.

An inverter generator electronically controls the movement of the engine to fulfill electricity demand instead of running full tilt all the time. 

The best part of using such a device is that you don’t have to fill up the gas tank frequently. 

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Standby Generator

If you wish to use a device that has the following features:

  1.  Worry-free, i.e., you don’t need to refill for weeks for its functioning.

  2. Runs automatically

  3. Sized to power an entire house in the event of an outage

  4. An electrical back up system

Then installing a standby generator would be best for you.

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Diesel standby generator

Gasoline Generators

It is one of the best generators because it runs on gasoline and is easily available at low-cost.

These generators are available in small sizes; they are ideal for power models.

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The Demerits of using this device are:

  1. They generate high emissions

  2. Gasoline is unavailable during power outages because it requires electricity to pump.

  3. They don’t start well in cold weather.

Diesel Fuel Generators

Diesel is the least flammable of all the fuel sources and is easily available.

Merits

  1. Have a long lifespan

They perform efficiently for a long time under proper maintenance.

  1. Affordable to operate 

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Demerits

  1. Diesel fuel is good only up to 24 months of storage, and storing large quantities is expensive.

  2. Produce high emissions

  3. Costlier than gas engines.

Propane (vapor and liquid) Generators 

These generators have the following features:

  1. Produces low emissions

  2. They boast a longer shelf life than diesel and gasoline generators

  3. Burn cleanly

  4. Can be easily stored in any quantity

  5. Readily available in power outages

  6. Affordable, and long-lasting

  7. Starts easily in cold temperatures

  8. Quiet operation

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Demerit

  1. Propane is kept under pressure because it is highly inflammable, even explosive.

Biodiesel Generators  

Biodiesel is made by the mixture of diesel and from biological sources, such as vegetable oil or animal fat.

Merits

  1. They require lesser fossil fuels

  2. Burn with lower emissions and leaves less residue

  3. Environment-friendly

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Demerits

  1. Unavailable during power outages.

Emulsified Diesel Generators

It is a mixture of diesel fuel and water blended with a mixing agent.

Merits

  1. Consumes less fossil fuel and produces lower emissions

Demerits

Maintaining a proper diesel to water ratio is a challenging task.

Natural Gas Generators

Natural gas has a limitless supply.

Merits

  1. Natural gas is supplied continuously during their operations that these generators never run out of fuel or require refilling

  2. They are quiet at operating

  3. Burns cleanly with lowe emissions

  4. Starts well in cold conditions

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Demerit

  1. Include high installation costs for a continuous supply of natural gas. 

Hydrogen Generator

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These generators use hydrogen because:

  1. It is tremendously abundant (particularly from water sources),

  2. Non-toxic,

  3. Clean,

  4. Cheap, and

  5. Generates more energy per pound than any other fuel source

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: How does an Electric Generator work?

Ans: Electric generator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. 

It utilizes mechanical energy to force the motion of electric charges present in the wire of its windings through an external electric circuit.

Q2: Can a Generator run for 24 Hours?

Ans:  A standard 5000-watt unit would use around 18 gallons of gasoline for 24 hours operation.

We can use units like Firman H05751 7125/5700 Watt 120/240V Electric Start Gas or Propane Dual Fuel Portable Generator for this purpose.

Q3: What are the two types of Generators?

Ans: There are two types of electric generators:

  1. DC (Direct current) generator: It converts mechanical energy into DC electrical power.

  2. AC (Alternating current) generator: It converts mechanical energy into AC electrical power. It reverses the direction of current periodically.AC generator works on the principle of EMI.

Q4: What size Generator is needed to power a house?

Ans: It is necessary to have a high wattage generator to power your house. 

We can use 10000 Watts units like Westinghouse WGen9500DF or an RV like Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter (quiet at operating 3000-watt unit) to run the appliances like refrigerator, AC, TV, lightning circuits altogether.