Difference between Generator and Alternator Full explanation.

Difference between Generator and Alternator




Difference between generator and alternator Full explanation, generator vs alternator


Generator and Alternator both are very important terms in electrical engineering. Most of the Students have confused about the difference between generator and alternator. Some of the students think that they are the same and some of the students think that they are different. In this article, I will clear all doubts about the Difference between Generator and Alternator.






The Alternator and Generator both convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. So what is the difference between generator and alternator? The main difference between the alternator and generator is in the generator the magnet (either the permanent magnet or electromagnet) or field system is stationary and the armature is rotating but in case of the alternator the armature is stationary and field is rotating.

The other important difference between generator and alternator are given below:

click on the below table to enlarge



Difference between generator and alternator Full explanation, generator vs alternator


Key Difference between Generator and Alternator:





  1. The Generator has Armature as rotating part and has the main field as stationary part. On the other hand, the Alternator has the main field as a rotating part and has the armature as stationary part.
  2. The generator may be two types AC or DC. There are both types are available. But the alternator only can produce Alternating current that is why it is called Alternator.
  3. The generator always used for small amount of power generation and the RPM of generator always less than the alternator. Alternator mainly used for a large amount of power generation and also used for small amount of power generation. The alternator has a large RPM rating than the generator.
  4. We know that in DC generator the induced emf in the armature winding is alternating in nature and it causes to produce alternating current so to convert alternating into direct current commutator is used in DC Generator. On the other hand, Alternator has not any commutator mechanism.
  5. Among the same rating of generator and alternator, the generator always has less efficiency than the alternator for its brush, commutator, and other reasons. But alternator has more efficiency than the generator.
  6. Among the same rating of generator and alternator, the generator is heavier than the alternator for its commutator and other arrangements. On the other hand, as the alternator has no commutator arrangement so lighter than the generator.
  7. We know that DC has polarity positive and negative. So polarization must be taken during installation of A DC generator. For AC generator it does not need. During installation of the alternator also polarization does not need.
  8. As I told you previously that generators are used for only low power generation purposes but the alternators are used for low power generation as well as high power generation. 

So the main difference between generator and alternator is the constructional difference and power generation capacity. You can write the above differences in your exam.




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