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Learn the difference between AC and DC generators

AC vs. DC Backup Generators: What’s the Difference?

It’s no surprise that your business needs a backup generator. But it’s not always easy to decipher the different types of generators and which one you need. 

There are two main types of backup generators:

  1. AC (alternating current)
  2. DC (direct current)

In order to decide which generator you need, you should understand a few things first. For example, how do they work? What are the differences between AC and DC? Will an AC generator give you what you need?

How to Create Electricity

Any type of generator works by converting mechanical power into electrical power through electromagnetic induction. Electromagnetic induction occurs when an electric current passes through a shifting magnetic field, which allows mechanical energy to be converted into electrical energy. This is the main way generators produce electricity.

Uses & Design Differences

AC and DC generators both use electromagnetic induction to generate electricity. However, the process they use is different. In an AC generator, it creates an alternating current that periodically reverses direction. But in a DC generator, a direct current flows in one direction.AC and DC generators are very different, but your construction site could need both.

In an AC generator, the coil through which current flows is fixed and the magnet usually moves. The south and north poles of the magnet make the current flow in opposite directions, thereby creating an alternating current.

In contrast, the coil in a DC generator is not fixed; rather it rotates in a fixed field. The two ends of the coil are attached to the commutator, which balances the charges to and from the generator, thus resulting in a current that does not alter direction.

The two backup generators are used for different purposes. An AC generator is used to power smaller electrical items in your business – such as coffee machines, computers, etc. On the other hand, a DC generator is used to power larger electric motors, even as big as those used in subway systems.

AC & DC Backup Generator Advantages

Since each backup generator serves a different purpose, there are several advantages to each.

AC Generator Advantages

DC Generator Advantages

What is the frequency in an AC generator?

The frequency in an AC generator is determined by the number of magnetic poles and the rotational speed. Typically, AC generators have a frequency of 60 cycles per second.

How can I convert a three-phase AC to a single-phase AC?

Depending on your circumstance, there are a couple of ways this can be done.

Overall, AC generators are the most common backup generators due to the lower maintenance needs. When you think of a generator, you’re most likely thinking of an AC generator. The decision for your power solutions will ultimately come down to the size of your company and what you need powered.

Power Plus! is a leading provider of reliable non-radioactive power generators across the United States and Canada.

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