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how does a generator work?

how does a generator work, generator working principle is to use the principle of electromagnetic induction to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

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how does a generator work, simply put, generator working principle is to use the principle of electromagnetic induction to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.– it’s like a magical box that can create electricity when there is none available. The science behind how a generator works is both fascinating and complex, involving principles of physics and engineering. 

But how does it all come together to keep our lights on when the power goes out? How does a generator work? If you’ve ever asked these questions, or if you’re just curious about the technology that powers our world, you’re in for an eye-opener. Today’s article will delve into the fascinating world of generators – from how they work, to the critical role they play in modern society. So sit back, relax, and follow your BISON generator suppliers on this fascinating journey of discovery.

how does a generator work

generator operation principle

Generators come in various types, each catering to different needs and applications. Portable generators are compact, versatile, and ideal for temporary power needs like camping or outdoor events. Standby generators, on the other hand, are permanently installed and automatically provide electricity during power outages. Inverter generators are a newer class that offers clean, stable power suitable for sensitive electronics.

Whether you’re using a portable generator for a family camping trip or a standby generator to keep a hospital running during a power outage, you’re benefiting from the wonders of electromagnetic induction, Faraday’s Law, Lenz’s Law, and the application of AC or DC.

electromagnetic induction

The underlying principle of all these generators, regardless of their type, is the same – electromagnetic induction. This is the process by which a conductor moving in a magnetic field induces voltage. This principle was discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831 and is aptly known as faraday’s law of induction. It states that the induced voltage in a circuit is proportional to the rate of change of magnetic flux through it.

electromagnetic induction principle

Lenz’s law

However, an opposing force, known as Lenz’s Law, comes into play. Lenz’s Law states that an induced electromotive force (EMF) generates a current that induces a counter magnetic field that opposes the magnetic field producing the current. In simpler terms, it’s the law that ensures that energy cannot be created from nothing.

AC vs. DC

Generators can produce two types of electrical currents: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). AC is the standard used in most homes and businesses because it’s more efficient to transmit over long distances. On the other hand, DC is often used in battery-powered devices. The main difference between them lies in the direction of flow. AC changes direction periodically, while DC flows consistently in one direction.

main components of a generator

main components of a generator

Before understanding the generator working principle, we need to first understand the what are parts of a commercial generator?. A generator is an engineering marvel in which multiple components work in harmony to generate electricity. BISON generator suppliers will introduce these components and their functions.

  1. Engine: The engine is the heart of the generator. It provides the mechanical energy needed to initiate the electrical generation process. The size of the engine determines the amount of electrical power the generator can produce.

  2. Alternator: Often referred to as the ‘generator’, the alternator is where the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy occurs. It consists of moving parts (rotor) and stationary parts (stator) which work together to create an electromagnetic field for generating electricity.

  3. Fuel system: The fuel system supplies the engine with the necessary fuel to run. 

  4. Voltage regulator: This component controls the output voltage from the alternator. It ensures a consistent and stable voltage, protecting your devices from voltage spikes or drops.

  5. Cooling and exhaust systems: Generators generate a lot of heat. The cooling system helps dissipate this heat to prevent overheating, while the exhaust system expels combustion by-products.

  6. Lubrication system: This system ensures that all moving parts in the engine and alternator are adequately lubricated to reduce friction and wear.

  7. Battery charger: The battery charger keeps the starter battery charged. The battery is crucial for starting the engine.

  8. Control panel: This is the user interface of the generator. It includes start/stop controls, meters, and indicators for monitoring generator performance.

  9. Main assembly/frame: The frame houses all the components of the generator. It provides a base for the generator and aids in its portability.

faraday's law of electromagnetic induction

How a generator works step by step

The process of generating electricity involves converting mechanical energy into rotational energy, creating a magnetic field with this energy, inducing electric current through stator windings, regulating the output voltage, and finally, transmitting the current to the load.

conversion of mechanical energy into rotational energy

The generator engine, or prime mover, burns fuel to produce mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is converted into rotational energy, causing the engine’s shaft to spin.

Creation of magnetic field

Attached to the engine’s shaft is the rotor within the alternator. As the rotor spins with the shaft, it creates a rotating magnetic field.

Induction of electric current

This rotating magnetic field moves past the stator windings in the alternator. According to Faraday’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction, this change in magnetic field induces an electric current in the stator windings.

Regulation of output voltage

The electric current produced can vary in voltage. To ensure a consistent and safe output, the voltage regulator steps in. It maintains the output voltage within acceptable limits, protecting your devices from potential damage due to voltage fluctuations.

Transmission of electric current to the load

finally, the electric current generated is transmitted to the load, providing the power needed for various applications, from lighting up a bulb to powering heavy machinery.


In this comprehensive article, BISON delves into the fascinating working of generator, explaining their fundamentals, key components and step-by-step operation.

Generators play a crucial role in today’s world, ensuring a reliable supply of power whenever and wherever it’s needed. They are essential for businesses, hospitals, homes, outdoor events, and more, providing a lifeline during power outages and in areas without access to grid power.

Whether portable, standby, or inverter types, work on the principle of electromagnetic induction, combining Faraday’s and Lenz’s Laws to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. They produce either AC or DC current, depending on their design.

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