4 Types of Generators Used in Modern Manufacturing
[This article was written by Kara Masterson.]
From providing power to regional and municipal electric grids to charging laptops and car batteries, electric generators play a crucial part in modern manufacturing methods. While all generators function based on the same basic principles, these machines can vary from huge industrial turbines to the far smaller electric generators found in vehicles and consumer devices. Learning more about the most common types of generators may provide you with a better idea of how these machines are utilized throughout the manufacturing industry.
The largest type of generator, these machines are used to convert kinetic energy into electrical power. Hydroelectric turbines are used to transform the kinetic energy of moving water while wind-powered turbines use large rotating blades to harness the power of the wind. Traditional coal-fired and even nuclear plants produce electricity by heating water in order to power a steam generator. Industrial turbines create the electrical power needed to operate a manufacturing or production plant.
Far smaller than their industrial cousins, portable generators are used to power refrigeration equipment and even tools like sprayers or nail guns. Cheap and versatile, portable electric generators can quickly be setup in almost any area or environment. You will find this type of equipment being used widely throughout the manufacturing industry.
By far the most commonly used generators can be found beneath the hood of a car. Often referred to as an alternator, this device uses the kinetic energy of the engine in order to produce electrical power which is then used to charge the battery. While they may not be able to rival a portable generator in terms of performance, inverter generators are typically smaller and more lightweight which allows for a wider range of potential uses.
There are plenty of situations where a loss of lighting, power or environmental control is not a matter that can be left to chance. A backup or standby generator is designed to deliver power in the event of a blackout of other interruption in service. More commonly found in hospitals and emergency settings, backup generators can provide a level of redundancy for critical manufacturing processes.
The ability to produce electrical power on-site can be a real asset. From powering vehicles and equipment to minimizing the problems and issues that may be caused by a blackout, generators are an important part of countless manufacturing processes. Generators can differ considerably in terms of output, features and performance which makes different types of generators more suitable for specific jobs and environments.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys Tennis and spending time with her family.
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