Physics » Magnetism and Faraday's Law » Electrical Machines - Generators And Motors

Real-Life Applications

Real-Life Applications


A car contains an alternator. When the car’s engine is running the alternator charges its battery and powers the car’s electric system.

Optional Project: Alternators

Try to find out the different current values produced by alternators for different types of machines. Compare these to understand what numbers make sense in the real world. You will find different values for cars, trucks, buses, boats etc. Try to find out what other machines might have alternators.

A car also contains a DC electric motor, the starter motor, to turn over the engine to start it.A starter motor consists of the very powerful DC electric motor and starter solenoid that is attached to the motor.A starter motor requires a very high current to crank the engine and is connected to the battery with large cables to carry large current.

Electricity generation

In order to produce electricity for mass distribution (to homes, offices, factories and so forth), AC generators are usually used. The electricity produced by massive power plants usually has a low voltage which is converted to high voltage. It is more efficient to distribute electricity over long distances in the form of high voltage power lines.

The high voltages are then coverted to 240 V for consumption in homes and offices. This is usually done within a few kilometres of where it will be used.

AC generators are used at power plants (all types, hydro- and coal-plants shown) to generate electricity.

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