What is a generator?

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A generator is a device for locally producing electrical energy on demand. This is mainly used as a backup to the main electricity supply and can automatically start and provide electricity for as long as the outage lasts. Other applications include commercial, construction, off grid backup or even prime power. A generator consists of a mechanical engine and electrical alternator.

The engine is the mechanical drive source which powers the electrical alternator output source. Engines can either be gasoline, liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel. This alternator contains a rotating mass of copper (rotor) and a stationary magnetic field (stator). When the rotor spins within the magnetic field it produces electricity at the alternator terminals. This is, of course, a simplistic statement and many other processes and controls are required to produce stable electricity at the correct voltage and frequency.

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