Generators and Alternators: What’s the Difference?

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When you have a power outage and need to power your home or other essentials, having a backup source of energy is a great way to make sure that you have the power that you need. For the most part, people will look to generators to achieve this goal. For those who may not be familiar with these sources of power, however, sifting through similar products that pop up in a search (like alternators) can be confusing. What is the difference between generators and alternators? If you are asking yourself this question, we break down the difference in the guide below!

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What is a generator?

Even if you may not currently own one, chances are that you have heard of a generator—a machine that produces electric energy running on natural gas such as diesel fuel. It produces either alternating currents (AC) or direct currents (DC) by rotating a rotor consisting of coiled wires, which are placed within a magnetic field. This rotation within the machine’s stationary magnetic field is what creates the electric current that can be used to power homes and other large areas. Diesel generators are known for their reliability when it comes to powering areas dependent upon much larger sources of energy.

That said, while they each use this model of electricity production, the device that you choose will depend upon your personal needs. If you are in need of a generator diesel device, make sure to do your research and look for a company that can provide you with several high-quality options. Whether you need to power your home, your commercial property, or fulfill any other power-based needs, a diesel generator can get the job done.

What is an alternator?

While a generator is used to power much larger items, such as a house, for example, an alternator is a device that is typically used to charge the battery in an automobile, for example. This device, which only produces AC, uses mechanical energy to rotate a magnet within the alternator, which then results in magnetic flux, creating energy. However, these devices are most often reserved for charging car batteries as the output of energy is not typically enough to charge the items that you would use a generator to power. Additionally, alternators need regulators as the amount of energy produced can have a major impact on batteries and other components found within your car. If you try to charge a dead battery, this can cause fires and other potential problems as well.

While alternators do have their uses, they are often limited to what they can do. As such, they are better suited for their intended purposes rather than trying to be applied for producing energy.

What is the difference?

So, what is the difference between a generator and an alternator? The former is designed to power much larger areas, whether that be a home or a commercial property, while alternators are designed to charge certain items when they are in need of power, such as car batteries. Even though you may hear about both, you are generally not going to use one to meet the purpose of the other as they are both designed for a specific use.

If you are looking into power sources, either to provide you with a backup plan if you should find yourself in an emergency situation or if you are looking into alternative energy sources, use the guide above to learn more about the difference between a generator and an alternator. This will help you avoid any potential errors and show you why you should make sure never to mix the two up when you are trying to power something!