Types DC Generators


Electrical generators are also termed dynamo which is the machine that alters the mechanical energy into electricity for distribution and passing over the lines of power to commercial, domestic and industrial customers. DC generators are one of the major types of electrical generators. Generators help in generating the electrical power necessary for aircraft, ships and automobiles. The generators help in developing backup power at homes and business organisations during power cuts. DC generators help in stabilising the current flow and the electromotive force may emerge in a current flow when the circuit of a conductor is folded.

What is a DC generator?

DC (Direct Current) generator is illustrated as the electrical machine whose basic work is to alter mechanical energy into electricity. DC generators are utilised as portable machines where a low supply of power is needed (Shao et al. 2019). The generator of direct current is illustrated as the revolving machine that delivers an electrical outcome with discontinuous current and voltage.

Figure 1: DC generator

The primary principles of direct current generator operations are similar to that of synchronous generators. The energy change procedures utilise the energy principle-induced force of electromotive (Ertugrul & Abbott, 2020). DC generator is also utilised as the DC motor without transforming the construction.

Types of DC generators

DC generators are mainly classified into two major types based on procedures of excitation of the field including Self-excited Dc generators and Separately Excited.

Separately excited Dc generators: This type of generator includes an external force for excitation. External direct current sources are utilised in this system for energising the magnets of the field.

Figure 2: Features of separately excited DC generator

It helps in giving the higher voltage and EMF in the output as the speed of rotation maximises. These types of generators are capable of creating a range of large outputs which are feasible in design and simple to construct.

Figure 3: Features of separately DC shunt generator

Self-excited generators: This type of DC generator has the magnets of the field that are enlivened by their own current of supply and the coils of the field are attached to the armature internally. In this type of generator, there is some flux within poles because of the magnetism of residue (Al-Ismail, 2021). Self-excited DC generators are categorised into three types based on coils of field and position including Shunt-wound generators, compound wound generators and series-wound generators.

Working principle of DC generator

The DC generator's working principle is based on electromagnetic induction of Faraday's law. It is known that the conductor carrying current is placed in a different magnetic field where an emf is induced in the Conductor. The focus of induced current transforms whenever the conductor's motion direction is transmitted (Elprocus, 2022). Considering the fact that an armature is revolving clockwise and the conductor is kept unchanged and moving upwards. The conductor's motion direction in this case may get reversed downward when the armature finishes half rotation. Therefore, the current's direction in each armature may gradually change. Armature conductors' connections may get altered with the commutator of the split ring when the reversal of current happens. Hence, a unidirectional current at the terminals is obtained.

Parts of DC generators

The DC generator consists of several parts which include field windings, Armature, Commutator, Brushes and frame.

Field windings: Field windings are utilised in generators to create the needed field of a magnet. The field of a magnet is generated by permanent magnets. Permanent magnets are mainly utilised in magnetos which are very small machines. The generator is separately excited if the field winding current is given by an external source.

Armature: A stationary field and rotating armature are generally present in the generator of direct current. Many coils exist in the rotating armature and the core of the armature is created of sheet-steel laminations that are isolated electrically from the other by Varnish coating.

Figure 4: DC generator’s parts

Commutator: It is an element of the armature that utilises the bars of copper to attach every coil of the armature to the brushes. Induction of voltage in the conductor is seen whenever the conductor outrages the forces' magnetic lines of the field of a magnet.

Brushes: It is referred to as a sliding contact that goes on against the slip rings and joins the armature to the external circuit. Brushes are utilised to dissolve the electrical energy from the commutator of the generator.

Frame: It helps in giving mechanical support to the generator. Most of the frames in the DC generator comprise two end frames and yoke. It is generally made of annealed steel that possesses good qualities of magnet that restrict the losses of energy.

Application of DC generators

  • DC generators are utilised to charge batteries, give lighting and excite the changes.

  • It is utilised as portable generators where less supply is needed.

  • It is utilised in motorcycle toys like a remote control in appliances and cars like electric shavers.

  • It is utilised to give the current field excitation for braking of regeneration in the locomotives of DC.


Dc generators develop constant torque over a broad application of speed. Supply of power is referred to as significant consideration in the usage of DC motors. Some current is generated and a small current helps in flowing through the coils of the field by strengthening the flux of pole and load in the self-excited generators. The DC generator's series utilises the arc lamps for stable current booster and generator and lightning. The generators of DC are utilised to reimburse drops of voltage.


Q1. What is defined as a power factor?

Ans. The ratio between kilovolt amps and kilowatts is structured from electric load and is referred to as the power factor. It is determined by the connection of load with the generators.

Q2. What is the distinction between AC and DC generators?

Ans. A DC generator creates DC power of electricity whereas AC produces AC power of electricity. In DC, the electric current gets reversed in the periodic direction whereas, in AC, it flows in the straight direction.

Q3. What are the factors in the EMF generation that the transformation relies on?

Ans. The produced EMF relies on the turns of the armature coil, the strength of the magnetic field and the rotating field’s speed. Distribution factor and Harmonic effect are the major factors impacting the produced emf for the transformation.

Q4. What is Yoke?

Ans. Yoke is demonstrated as the external structure of a direct current (DC) generator. It is one of the parts of the DC generator and helps in structuring the other parts.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022

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