ARTICLES - Generators

Generators work on a fairly basic principal. It is a way of creating electricity.

A generator uses a magnet to get electrons moving. There is a definite link between electricity and magnetism. If you allow electrons to move through a wire, they will create a magnetic field around the wire. Similarly, if you move a magnet near a wire, the magnetic field will cause electrons in the wire to move.

A generator is a simple device that moves a magnet near a wire to create a steady flow of electrons.

One simple way to think about a generator is to imagine it acting like a pump pushing water along. Instead of pushing water, however, a generator uses a magnet to push electrons along. This is a slight over-simplification, but it is nonetheless a very useful analogy.

  • There are two things that a water pump can do with water:
  • A water pump moves a certain number of water molecules.
  • A water pump applies a certain amount of pressure to the water molecules.
  • In the same way, the magnet in a generator can first of all push a certain number of electrons along and secondly apply a certain amount of "pressure" to the electrons.

In an electrical circuit, the number of electrons that are moving is called the amperage or the current, and it is measured in amps. The "pressure" pushing the electrons along is called the voltage and is measured in volts. So you might hear someone say, "If you spin this generator at 1,000 rpm, it can produce 1 amp at 6 volts." One amp is the number of electrons moving (1 amp physically means that 6.24 x 1018 electrons move through a wire every second), and the voltage is the amount of pressure behind those electrons.

Generators are a must have if you can’t afford to ever be stuck without electricity.



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