Generators – How Do They Work?

Generators generate electricity and they are built on the principle of electromagnetism. They convert mechanical energy into electricity, using an assembly of magnets and rotors. Based on the source that provides this mechanical energy, there are many different types of generators; for example: the diesel generator converts chemical energy, resulted from combustion.

Most physical and biochemical devices and mechanisms are driven by electromagnetism. A changing magnetic field creates a current through a conductor; if you take a magnet, place it on a piece of paper and spread metal shavings on the other side of the paper, you will see that the shavings spread around in a specific pattern.

The generator itself is composed of the stator, which is a single or a set of magnets, and the rotor, which is a metal loop rotating in the stator (or the other way around). The movement of the rotor generates the change in magnetic field necessary to create the current which is then transported through a coil to an external electrical circuit. Generators in power stations use a more complex mechanism, the principle is the same and the movement is induced using resources like steam – in nuclear power stations, falling water – in hydroelectric power stations, and so on.

electromagnetism, hydroelectric power stations, magnetic field, mechanical energy, metal loop, nuclear power stations