How do Electric Generators Work? Understanding the Basics of an Incredibly Useful Appliance

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When the power goes out, what should you do? Sure, you can light candles and use flashlights, but simple light sources will only help in small ways. If the main source of energy is unavailable, an electric generator can be an incredibly useful appliance to supply additional electricity and get your home up and running again.
Have you ever wondered how electric generators work? The concept is pretty simple once it is broken down. To start, you?ll want to understand exactly what a generator does before trying to understand how it works. Simply put, an electric generator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy.

To begin, you need to start with a form of mechanical energy. That mechanical energy needed to power the generator can come from many different sources. There are several types of electric generators that rely on different power sources. Some of the more basic models use mechanical energy from manual work such a hand crank. Even natural sources of energy like wind or water can power a generator. More advanced electrical generators use an engine, and the most advanced relies on nuclear fission.

The most basic concept of a generator can be explained in this way: a magnet is passed near a wire to create a flow of electrons. The magnet is moved by whatever form of mechanical energy the generator relies on. The electron flow produced is the source of the electrical energy. The basic principles of electricity show that a conductor is needed for the electricity to move, and the wire within the generator provides a path.
Once the energy is produced, it is ready for use in any external circuit. The most commonly known application of electric generators is for when the power goes out in a home or as a backup for when the main source of electrical power fails. There are commercial generators for larger buildings and smaller residential generators that are suitable for a home.
A better understanding of how generators work may convince you to purchase one for your home or commercial space. You don’t want to be without power when it really counts, and a generator will ensure you never have to be!
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