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What Is a Generator and How Does It Work?

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6551-83226.1450361946.500.659.jpgMost of us have a general idea of what a generator is and its purpose. However, have you ever wondered about the specific details of its purpose and operation? Here are some basics of the common generator, be it a backup residential model, or a portable model.

What It Is and What It Does

Simply put, a generator generates electricity—it does not create it. These machines are complex systems of parts that work together to convert on form of energy in to electrical power, or pull it from another source and redistribute it, so that it can be used by you. There is a wide variety of sizes and models from which to choose, and all generate different levels of electrical power, utilizing varying fuels. Below are merely a few of the options:

  • Portable Generators: These units are popular for their size and versatility. They tend to be smaller, easily carried and moved, and can provide enough power for a home, for recreation, or for work sites. They are also generally very quiet, and run on various forms of gas, depending upon your preferences. Some can be mounted directly to vehicles.
  • Standby and Residential Generators: These stationary models are significantly larger and perfect for powering a home or office during an outage. They are meant to provide more substantial power, and are wired directly into the home via a transfer switch that tells the generator when to start (automatically or manually).
  • PTO Generators: These generators are meant primarily for farms; they can be used with tractors for portable power in agricultural areas.

How It Works

Generators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, and then distribute that electrical energy so that it can be used. Specifically, the mechanical energy inside the generator works as an electrical conductor, causing movement, or flow, of electric charges in the unit’s wiring. This is how the electric current is generated. The charges then move through as an output electrical current, directly to where you have the generator plugged in and need power.

If you need back-up power, call us at 847-516-8882. We’ll tell you what you want to know at AP Electric and Generators, and we’ll help you determine the best generator for your needs. 

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