How Does A Generator Work?

generac whole-house generator

We’ve certainly come a long way in making sure of our access to reliable sources of power because so much of our lives run on electricity now. Regrettably, even modern power grids are still imperfect. Power failures often occur due to reasons outside of our control, like equipment failure or varying kinds of accidents. Sometimes the grid goes down because there was damage resulting from construction work, or just from severe weather conditions, and, of course, a higher than ever energy demand. Nowadays, many homes and places of business turn to on-demand generators to supply power to them during a power outage. Generators can provide access to electricity for those people in areas outside of the radius of the power grid, or in places where there are frequent power outages due to less-than-stellar energy service. Many people may still ask questions like, “So, how does a generator work?” Read on to find the answer.

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How Power Generators Work

A generator is usually called a whole-house generator, an on-demand power source, a backup or a standby generator. These are appliances using mechanical energy, which it converts to electrical energy. This electricity is transmitted into and distributed throughout a home, or other building. Generators can be used to power transportation, like trains, airplanes, ships, and cars. In a lot of areas, a generator is still used as an excellent and reliable alternative source of power.

A generator uses the principle of electromagnetic induction to create power. Inside each generator, you will find a conductor coil made of copper that spins through a strong, horseshoe-shaped magnet. This coil and its metal core are known as an armature. It’s connected to a mechanical energy source like a motor. The armature will rotate and produce energy to power a generator. The generator’s engine must have a source of fuel to run. This fuel may be natural gas, petrol or diesel, or some other source of natural energy.

When the coil spins, it interferes with the magnetic field inside of those magnetic poles found in the internal magnet. That interference will agitate all of the electrons in the conductor. This induces an electrical current to begin.

An alternator, which may be known as a generating unit, creates an alternating current. This is done in exactly the way that the power grid does it. Alternating current (AC) gives us our main source of reliable and steady power. It provides a steady source of power for sensitive appliances like the AC units that cool our homes, our personal computers, and sensitive, and vital surgical equipment in hospitals.

Generator engines can vary a great deal in their sizes. The generator that has the largest engines are most often liquid-cooled. These feature pumps that will circulate coolant in and out of the unit while a fan blows air through it to reduce the coolant temperature. A liquid-cooled generator is ideal in hot, humid climates. This kind of cooling system will prevent the unit from getting too hot to function correctly.

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Backup Generators Produce Power, But How Much?

The power of a generator is going to depend on the dimension of that unit’s engine. It stands to reason that a bigger engine means you will have a generator that will produce more energy to power bigger devices or places. W (Watts) and kW (kiloWatts) are used to measure output. Volts x Amps determine the number of Watts. A professional who knows how to calculate wattage will be able to tell you if the generator you’re interested in is going to be sufficient for your power needs. It can be difficult to calculate on your own, but experienced technicians can give you details on the system that will handle all you will need to use it for. If you seek energy to power small appliances, like desktop or laptop computers, or perhaps a weather radio, you will not need a unit that can power a hospital and all the equipment it has to keep running.

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On-Demand Generator Benefits

image of a power outage depicting how useful whole-house generators are

A standby generator gives you the important benefit of access to an alternative power source that can make all the difference to your comfort, or perhaps survival during emergency events. Power outages happen. Generators are important, especially in areas where the main electrical source is not always reliable. Having a generator installed and ready to use is also critical for a business or service that relies on electricity, such as a pharmacy, a manufacturing plant, a hospital, or a health care clinic.

Standby generators are crucial for hospitals and medical staff as well as home care personnel. You never know when there will be an emergency situation, like a natural disaster, that can necessitate their use. Generators will ensure that you still have light and that important source of power to equip appliances that are needed for rescues, life-sustaining measures, any surgical procedures, or other essential services.

Damage and waste prevention is another area where a generator can really help. Generators have features allowing them to power up immediately if the power goes out, to keep things like appliances and other equipment running. A generator works to ensure that operations continue to run, smoothly and unrestricted. Because there is a source of power to keep appliances running, food supplies continue to be produced and medications will be processed to keep the supply chains going. Access to alternative electricity created by a generator can prevent damage from spoilage. Microorganisms grow quickly without proper temperature control! Any person who works from home will be grateful for continued access to a computer because a power failure can mean a loss of income and work. The comfort of your home can continue unabated with a generator as you can operate your heat or your cooling system.

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Whole-House Generator Features

  • Power: Generators vary in power output capacities. Some can power structures like a small home or a personal office while others are capable of handling large structures like professional buildings or factories. The differing power capacities let an end-user match specific requirements to the model that will best accommodate them.
  • Fuel: Units are fueled by sources like petrol, LPG or natural gas, diesel, or alternative energy. These numerous options permit a vast range of customers to choose the right generator for their own needs.
  • Noise: Please note that some older models of generators were incredibly noisy, which means they may not be ideal for populated areas. However, many modern generator models come with great noise-reducing technology. They may be used closer to populated places like schools, offices, or even hospitals.


To Conclude

Generators can be actual lifesavers as well as provide comfort and convenience to a home or business. They are flexible. They are stable. You can rely on them to provide you with important energy when the power grid crashes. Modern generators are safe to use and easy to operate because they have improved designs and added features to make them user-friendly. The most reliable brands provide trustworthy sources and are long-lasting, so they can be relied on to give you a source of alternate power for many years.

Before you rush out and purchase a generator, consider all of the factors involved. This can help ensure the capacity and type you select will be a great fit for your personal power requirements. If you are not certain which unit will work best, discuss your power needs with professionals. A knowledgeable generator installation company, like Townsend Energy, will help you make a smart, informed choice and help save on generator costs.

Call Townsend Energy For Superior Standby Generator Services

te logoTownsend Energy provides high-quality whole-house generator services for customers throughout New England. Professionally certified technicians will be available to conduct superior standby generator service, including, but not limited to backup generator repairs, brand new unit installations, and any maintenance needed for an older unit. Our professional technicians will provide precise whole-house generator services for your specific needs.

Townsend Energy can guarantee affordable on-demand generator service rates. If you chose to work with our company, expect reliable service, friendly and competent personnel, and honest assessments of the cost. We want you to be completely satisfied with our work, so all our services come with a guarantee. Call today to schedule a service appointment with us and ask for our free, in-home estimates.

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