Electric connections

What is an electric generator?

What is an electric generator?

An electric generator is a machine able to transform any type of energy, which can be chemical, mechanical or light, into electricity.

An electrical generator is all that a device capable of maintaining electric potential difference (voltage) between two points, called centers or terminals. Electric power generators are machines designed to transform mechanical energy into electricity.

Operation of an electric generator

The operation of an electric generator is similar to an electric motor running in reverse.

This transformation is achieved by the action of a magnetic field on electrical conductors arranged in coils on armor plates. If mechanically relative movement between the conductors and the field, an electromotive force is generated as the physicist Michael Faraday discovered.

electric generators and nuclear energy

Electric generators are of vital importance in nuclear power plants.

Once NPP has begun to turn the turbine, the electrical generator is responsible for converting mechanical energy from the turbine into electrical energy.

By radioisotope thermoelectric generator

A radioisotope thermoelectric generator is a simple electrical generator. This type of generator draws its power from the energy released by the radioactive decay of certain elements. In a thermoelectric generator, the thermal energy released by the decay of a radioactive material is converted directly into electricity. This change is due to the use of a number of thermocouples that convert heat into electricity thanks to the so-called Seebeck effect thermoelectric generator Heat (HTG or in English).

The RTG can be considered a type of battery and have been used in satellites, space probes and unmanned remote facilities that do not have other source of heat or electricity. The RTG devices are most appropriate in situations where there is no human presence and needed powers of several hundred watts for long periods of time, situations in which generators conventional fuel cells or batteries are not economically viable and where solar cells can be used.

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Last review: March 19, 2017

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