How Does a Generator Work?
Posted by Kristopher Schwind
So, you might have heard of a standby generator before, but what exactly is it and how does it work? In essence, it’s a backup power source that kicks in when your main power supply goes out. This way, you can keep your home or business running smoothly even when there’s an outage.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how a generator actually works. At its core, a generator is a device that turns mechanical energy into electrical energy. It’s made up of a few key components, including the engine, alternator, fuel system, and control panel.
The engine is the heart of the generator, and it’s what powers the alternator. You can think of it as the muscles in your body that make movement possible. It’s usually fueled by gasoline, diesel, natural gas, or propane, and the engine size determines how much power the generator can produce. The bigger the engine, the more power it can crank out, but it also uses more fuel and makes more noise.
The alternator is what actually creates the electrical energy. It has a rotor and a stator that work together to produce an alternating current (AC) output. Basically, the rotor is a magnet that spins around, while the stator is a bunch of coils that surround it. As the rotor spins, it creates a magnetic field that induces a current in the stator coils, which generates electricity.
The Fuel System
The fuel system is what supplies the engine with the fuel it needs to run. This includes things like a fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel filter, and carburetor or fuel injector. Think of it like a food delivery service for your generator. The fuel tank is where the fuel is stored, the fuel pump delivers the fuel to the engine, the fuel filter removes any junk from the fuel, and the carburetor or fuel injector mixes the fuel with air and delivers it to the engine in the right ratio.
The Control Panel
Finally, the control panel is what lets you start and stop the generator, monitor its performance, and control its output. It has switches, gauges, and circuit breakers. The switches control the generator’s operation, the gauges show you important information like voltage and engine speed, and the circuit breakers protect the generator and appliances from electrical faults.
So, How Does a Standby Generator Work Specifically?
When the power goes out, the generator’s automatic transfer switch (ATS) detects the problem and tells the generator to start up. The ATS disconnects your home or business from the main power supply and connects it to the generator instead. The generator then starts up and adjusts its output to power your appliances.
Once the main power supply comes back on, the ATS disconnects the property from the generator and connects it back to the main power supply. The generator shuts down and goes back into standby mode, waiting for the next time it’s needed.
National Standby Repair has everything you need from installing a standby generator to repairing and servicing one. Contact us today to receive a free assessment to see which generator is the best for your home or business.