What is an alternator?

Alternator is a device that helps in conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy. Mostly a rotating magnetic field is used by an alternator in order to be simple and save cost. But sometimes a rotating armature with a stationary magnetic field is used. Since this term refers to small rotating machines driven by internal combustion engines and automotive engines any AC electrical generator can be called an alternator.






Synchronous Speed

When a pair of field poles passes over a point on the stationary winding one cycle of current is produced. There is a relation between speed and frequency N=120f/P

F= Frequency in hz

P=Number of Poles(2,4,6)

N=Revolutions Per Minute.

The Frequency in terms of alternations per minute according to the very old descriptions are given by alternating current in which each half cycle is counted as one alteration. So in a single minute 12000 alterations corresponds to 100 HZ. The number of poles and the rotational speed affects the output frequency of an alternator. Following Table shows some examples of synchronous speed.

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