Types of Generators



Electric generator was discovered even before the discovery of the connection between electricity and magnetism. Moving electrically charged plates, disks, and plates were used to operate the electric generators and it follows electrostatic principles. The charge was mainly produced by using either of two mechanisms: turboelectric effect and electrostatic induction of turboelectric effect. Such kinds of generators produced low current and high voltage. Generators are very useful as it supplies poise to the electrical appliances during a power disruption. Generators are available in various physical and electrical configurations for use in different applications.

What is a generator?

 Figure 1: Construction of a generator

Generators are very useful gadgets that supply electrical power during an electrical failure. Generators are easily available with electrical as was a physical layout which is suitable for the different kinds of uses.

Generators are very essential devices that are used for power supplies during the power cut-off. Thus it prevents the discontinuity of regulated activities and affairs without any disruption. Generator mainly transforms the mechanical energy to the electric energy. The generator gets the mechanical energy from the external source.

Generator: Components

A generator mainly consists of six different types of components: fuel system, the engine, alternator, cooling, lubricating, and exhaust systems.

Figure 2: Working process of a generator

  • The engine: Engine is the most essential factor in any kind of machine. The engine generally changes fuel into usable energy and helps the machines to perform or move their mechanical functions of it.

  • Fuel System: The generators are commonly run by using different types of fuels. The fuel system is a tank that stores enough fuel to send power to the generators for many hours.

  • Alternator: The alternator converts the mechanical energy into the electrical current.

  • Cooling system: A cooling system is used to cool down the inner machines to prevent overheating.

  • Lubricating system: This system helps the generators to move smoothly.

  • Exhaust system: Many harmful gasses are ejected from the generators through this system.

Generator: Working principle

Electric heaters are utilized for the production of electric energy. The electromagnetic induction principle is utilized by generators for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. In the generator conductor, the coil is placed between the horseshoe magnets. Rapid rotation of conductor coil occurs that results in the production of electrical energy. The conductor coil and soft core together form the armature. The armature connected to the motor gets rotated. The requirement of mechanical energy is fulfilled through engines operating on natural gas fuels. Rotation of the coil results in cutting the magnetic field located between two magnetic poles. Interference of magnetic field with electron within conductor induces electric flow

Different categories of generators

AC generator: AC generator is also called Alternators. These are one of the most necessary devices as it offers electrical power in various conditions of life. As opined by Hasani, et al. (2019), the principal named electromagnetic induction regulated the work of AC generators. There are mainly two types of AC generators - synchronous generators and induction generators. No brushes can be found in these particular types of generators.

DC generator

 Figure 3: Working principle of DC generator

DC generators are mostly found in off-grid applications. As opined by Herawan et al. (2021), this type of generator is designed simply. DC generator mainly converts the mechanical power into DC electrical power by a process called electromagnetic induction (Khatri & Wang, 2020)

  • Portable Generators: Portable generators supply electricity by running the gaspowered engine. It turns the onboard alternator to produce electrical power.

  • Inverter Generators: The inverter generator inverts the electricity to grant safer, cleaner power for sensitive electronics.

  • Standby Generators: The standby generator, provides the power automatically during power cut off. It can be called the backup electrical system.

Generator and its usage

Generator type Usage
AC generators

These generators are used in electric scooters, bicycles, sailboats, and power plants.

DC generator

Lathe machines, Milling machines, Drilling machines. Reciprocating and Centrifugal pumps, Machine tools, Fans and blowers.

Portable Generators

Emergencies like camping, mining, ranching and agriculture, night working, camping and construction.

Inverter Generators

It is applied in running everything from the RV to the coffee pot in specific places where one cannot access the electronic power supplies (Ab, W. M. Z. B. & Haron, 2019). It is also used in powering the house in the absence of electricity.

Standby Generators It supplies power when the main power supplies fail. It provides backup for the emergency period.


Generators are very useful in emergency conditions of several conditions. It provides power supply to the electronic devices during the shortage of electricity. Different types of generators are applied in different types of situations. The necessity cannot be avoided in any aspect. The importance of generators becomes very important in today's modern era as it provides the continuous flow of electricity. Thus it makes sure that everyday occurrences can be done without any turmoil.


Q1. What is the difference between a portable generator and a standby generator?

Ans. Portable generator provides power supplies'' in the time of power outage but it is the temporary solution. Whereas a standby generator gives the perpetual solution and it is run by liquid propane or natural gas.

Q2. What is the importance of generators in daily life?

Ans. The generators provide the power supplies during the time of power failure. Numerous kinds of generators are used to ensure the continued sustainability of electricity.

Q3. What is the convenience of standby generators?

Ans. Standby generators are commonly used to supply power to phones, servers, machines and computers.

Q4. Which is the main part of the generator?

Ans. Engine is said to have been the most important part of a generator. The engine of a particular generator is conducted by neutral or diesel gas. The fuel tunes the engine and engine activities of other components of generators.

Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47