How Does A Generator Work?

homeowner during power outage

It’s true that we have covered a long distance in making sure we have access to a reliable source of power. Regrettably, even the modern power grid is far less than perfect. Power failures often occur due to equipment failure, accidents, and damage from construction work. Other things that affect it are severe weather events and a higher demand for energy. Because of this, many homes and buildings are beginning to rely on on-demand generators as a means to supply power to homes and businesses during a power outage. A generator can also give someone access to electricity in an area outside the supply radius of the power grid. Still, many may inquire, “How does a generator work?”. Keep reading for the answer to this question.

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How Does A Power Generator Work?

A generator (which is often referred to as a whole-house generator, an on-demand or a backup generator, or even a standby generator) is an appliance using mechanical energy, which it then converts into electrical energy. The electricity is transmitted so that it can be distributed through a building. Generators may also be used to power things like trains, planes, and automobiles. In increasingly more areas, a generator can be found as an alternative power supply.

Electromagnetic Induction

They work using electromagnetic induction. This means that in the generator you will find a copper conduction coil that will rotate within a magnet shaped like a horseshoe-shaped. That coil, along with a metal core, is an armature. The armature is connected to a mechanical energy source, like a motor. It rotates to create the energy that’s required to give the generator its power. The generator engine will use fuel to run. The source of fuel may be petrol, diesel fuel, or natural gas, and sometimes even natural energy.

As the coil turns, it interferes with the magnetic field inside the magnetic poles that are present in the horseshoe shape of the internal magnet. This interference within the magnetic field agitates those electrons in the conductor. This induces an electric current and it begins to flow.

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Alternating Current

The alternator, which may be called a generating unit, creates an alternating current — exactly like what the power grid will supply. Alternating current (otherwise known as AC) is historically, a reliable, stable power source. It’s able to supply power to appliances that may be sensitive, like Air conditioning units, personal computers, and even the surgical equipment found in operating rooms without any fluctuation.

Generator engines can vary a great deal in their size. The kind of generator that has the largest engines are those types that are liquid-cooled. These will feature a pump, which circulates coolant through the unit while a fan blows air into it in order to decrease the coolant’s temperature. Liquid-cooled generators are an excellent choice for those who live in hot, humid areas as that system prevents units from overheating.


How Much Power Will Backup Generators Create?

The capacity of power in a generator is going to depend on engine size. If the generator has a large engine, it will produce more energy and be able to power more rooms or bigger buildings. A unit’s output is often indicated in W (for Watts) or kW (for kiloWatts). Wattage is calculated as Volts times Amps. 10kW generators that are able to deliver 240 Volts, would provide an estimated output of around 41.67 or 42 amps. This is likely sufficient to power a 1200 W fridge, a 1000 W sump-pump, a 1000 W microwave, a 500 W fan on a furnace, as well as about 10 light circuits totaling 1000 W. There is sufficient energy to power some smaller appliances also, like laptop or desktop computers, or perhaps a radio, depending on the input required by that device.

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What Are Some Benefits of Using On-Demand Generators?

The number one benefit of owning a standby generator is probably simply having access to an alternative power source during emergency situations. Power outages are going to occur, and this makes generators really important, mainly in areas where the electrical sources are known to be less than reliable. Access to a generator can be critically important for those businesses and services depending on electricity in order to perform, such as pharmacies or factories, and of course, hospitals and medical clinics.

Standby generators are essential equipment for any medical staff and care personnel. They can literally save lives during emergency situations like natural disasters. Generators will provide lighting and even more importantly, power to the equipment and appliances to carry out rescues, delicate surgical procedures, and other indispensable medical services.

Yet another key benefit generators offer is damage or waste prevention. A generator will usually have a feature to turn on immediately and automatically when the power fails. This means that appliances and equipment will be able to remain running and it also ensures that operations continue on smoothly and unhampered. Because there is a new source of power to keep appliances actively running, things like food and medication can continue to be produced.

Having access to electricity made by a generator will help prevent damage due to spoiling foods and the growth of microorganisms in the absence of refrigeration. Anyone who works from home has peace of mind because there will be access to their computer, so they don’t have to deal with lost time and income from work. Additionally, you can better ensure the continued comfort of your home, as you can still operate a heating or cooling system.

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Some of the Features Of Whole-House Generators

image of a power outage depicting how useful whole-house generators are


  • Power: Generators are obtainable in diverse power output capacities so you can find one that will power structures like small homes or offices as well as getting one to power larger structures like a building or even a factory. The availability of varying power capacities lets the end-users match requirements to the right model for their own needs. Some things to keep in mind are as follows:
  • Fuel: Generators may be fueled by petrol or LPG. Some take natural gas or diesel, or even an alternative energy source. These differing fuel options will allow a wider range of buyers to find a generator that perfectly fits their power needs.
  • Noise: An older generator model may be known for the noise produced! However, many of the newer generator models come equipped with noise-reducing tech, so they can be placed near a building and next to structures like schools or offices, hospitals, or zoos.
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In Conclusion

Aside from providing comfort and convenience to a user, a generator can even be a literal lifesaver. Generators are flexible as well as stable. You can rely on a generator to keep your life moving forward when the power grid fails. Generators are safe to use. They are also easy to manage, thanks to enhanced designs and impressive new features.

Purchase a name-brand generator to have long-lasting reliability that will provide power for years to come. There are some factors that you may want to consider before you purchase a generator. This way, you will better ensure the capacity and type you buy is a perfect fit for any power requirements you have. It’s highly recommended that you consider talking about your generator needs with a professional. Someone knowledgeable about them will help you make a much more informed decision and guide you toward the ideal option for your specific needs.

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Lawes Company offers their clients high-quality, whole-house generator services local to you throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey. This team is comprised of professionally certified techs who will offer superior standby generator services. This includes backup generator repair, installation of new systems, and maintenance of your existing unit. Our technicians will give you accurate and reliable whole-house generator services in a timely manner, each and every time.

We guarantee affordable on-demand generator service charges. Working with us provides that reliable service you seek along with friendly personnel, and trustworthy, transparent rates. The satisfaction of our clients is vitally important to us, and our work always comes with a guarantee to that end. Give us a call for a service appointment with Lawes Company right now! We proudly offer no-cost in-home estimates.

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