How Do Portable Generators Work to Supply Power?

Have you ever wondered how do generators work during a power outage?

We don’t often think twice about electrical power when we flip a light switch or turn on the television until there’s a power outage. That’s when generators can play a huge role in our lives. Without generators, we would literally be left in the dark.

As for the question “How do generators work?”, it is really quite simple. Portable generators use various means to create and supply electricity to an electrical grid. This generator-supplied energy then powers our homes and offices.

Generators create electrical energy in various ways to meet our energy demands.

Briggs and Stratton portable generator.

1. How Is Motive Energy Used To Create Power for Generators?

Generators require motive energy to enable them to create electrical energy. Motive energy comes from a variety of sources including wind, steam, and water. However, for portable generators, it’s usually natural gas, diesel, or gasoline. Without this motive energy, the generators we utilize to supply us with all the electrical comforts we have become accustomed to would simply not work.

2. How Do Generators Work to Turn Motive Energy into Mechanical Energy?

Motive Energy  – This is supplied to a generator in the form of natural gas, gasoline, or diesel. Motive energy will, in turn, propel the main shaft of the generator creating mechanical energy. The main shaft revolves at a specific R.P.M. (revolutions per minute), depending on the application.

Governor – A governor regulates the speed of the generator to ensure it rotates consistently to work in conjunction with an alternator. The alternator takes mechanical energy from the generator and turns it into electrical energy.

3. How do Generators Work to Power the Alternator?

Alternator – Generators mechanically power alternators, which use rotating magnetic fields and an armature to create electricity. When the generator supplies mechanical energy to turn the shaft of an armature, it spins within a field of stationary magnets. Electrons are created in the coils of copper wire wound around the armature. Movement of electrons within the armature — caused by the magnets — create electrical energy, which is regulated by the speed of generators.

4. Generators Release Electricity Through Outlets

Generator Outlets – The electrical energy created by the generator is then sent to the electrical grid or outlets located on the generator (depending on the type of generator). The more wattage a generator is capable of producing, the more power can be supplied to various places requiring a consistent electrical supply.

5. Electricity Created by Generators Power Electrical Devices

Electricity – With electricity powered by a generator, you will be able to plug in a toaster or make your morning coffee whether at home or at the office. The power generated will depend on the size of the portable generator and how much wattage it can produce. Generators create and add electricity to the areas of your electrical panel that your electrician has specified. It may not be enough to power your entire house, but the grid can be set up to power designated power outlets, lighting, and other areas like water pumps, gas boilers, etc.

Rural Living Today also has a great post on Everything You Need to Know About Generators.

About Premium Electric

Premium Electric is a professional BC electrical company with certified electricians that service residential and commercial customers throughout the Lower Mainland.

We are based in Abbotsford, BC and all electrical work is guaranteed and warrantied for safety and quality.

Many of our electricians are local so if you require an electrician in Langley, MissionAbbotsford, Chilliwack, Yarrow, Sardis, or Aldergrove, give us a call.

We can also help you if you need an electrician in Surrey, New Westminster, Port Moody, BurnabyMaple Ridge, or Poco/ Coquitlam.

Ask us about performing an electrical safety inspection to ensure that the electrical in your home or business is being properly maintained and serviced.

Along with 24-hour emergency electrical services, we also sell and service backup generators.

If you still have a question about how do generators work, or about what type of generator you may need, please call us at 604-308-6195 or send us an email.


You might also like the following article about portable generators:

Standby vs Whole Backup Generator

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