Generators can produce electric current as these machines convert energy from mechanical to electrical. The process of converting energy is performed by electromagnetic induction. There are also two types of generators and these produce currents that differ in terms of the manner in which they move. Although both generators produce current using the same process, they have different uses, mechanisms, and designs.
In an AC generator, current flows through fixed coils. There is a magnet that moves, and both ends of the magnet cause the flow of current to remain in an opposite direction. With DC generators, there are no fixed coils. However, the current flows as the coil moves in a fixed field.
Both AC and DC generators have a commutator (slip rings) and an armature coil. The rings are constructed of metal. The connection type between the outside circuit and the armature affects the type of current produced. Hence, these generators can produce varied current depending on the connection of the armatures to the external circuits.
There are two metal rings in AC generators. The armature coil and commutators rotate in a simultaneous manner. This is made possible since there is a separate commutator in which either end of the armature are connected. These commutators include a carbon brush where they move against. However, AC generators contain a brush that remains steady and unmoving. The end of the armature and the outside circuit are both connected to one brush. The brushes receive the current that flows through the slip rings.[Tweet “Although both generators produce current using the same process, they have different uses, mechanisms, and designs”]
Both AC and DC generators follow electromagnetic principles, yet these two machines have difference means of collecting and transferring induced electromotive forces in the external circuit. Since the connection of external circuit and armature varies with these two types of generators, this explains the difference in how electromotive forces are collected and transferred.
AC generators have two commutators while DC generators have only one. The slip ring contains two semi-circular metal rings. These rings are insulated from one another. As for the ends of the armature, these are both connected to one-half of the commutator. This results in a reverse direction of the current in the armature each time a half turn rotation is made. After induced current reaches its highest point, it goes down to zero after an 180-degree rotation between magnetic poles is made by the armature. The current’s direction reverses just like with alternators. Each portion of the insulated slip ring moves against the opposite brush, and this causes current to flow in the similar direction from both the brushes and an external circuit.
AC generators produce an output voltage called alternators. The output voltage differs in terms of amplitude and time. For instance, alternators have a normal frequency of 60 Hz in Europe, Japan, and America. On the other hand, DC generators produce a steady output voltage.
AC generators are used to power smaller motors and electrical appliances at home. These appliances that can be operated using AC generators include juicing machines, electrical fixtures, and food mixers. However, DC generators are functional in supplying power to larger motors. Off-grid batteries also rely on DC generators for charging purposes because of the reliable and efficient supply of energy.