El-Hawary, Mohamed Faculty of Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Kilgore, Lee A. Formerly, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Anderson, Paul M. Power Math Associates, Inc., San Diego, California.
Last reviewed:October 2019
- Principles of operation
- Armature reaction
- Growth in size
- Other generator types
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An electrical machine that converts mechanical power into alternating-current electric power. Almost all electric power is produced by alternating-current (ac) generators that are driven by rotating prime movers. Steam turbines, whose thermal energy comes from either fossil or nuclear fuel, are the main type of prime movers. Combustion turbines are often used for smaller units and in cases where gas or oil is the available fuel. Where water power is available from dams, hydroelectric ac generators are powered by hydraulic turbines. Small sites may also use diesel or gasoline engines to drive the generator, but these units are usually used only for standby generation or to provide electric power in remote areas. See also: Diesel engine; Gas turbine; Hydraulic turbine; Hydroelectric generator; Internal combustion engine; Steam electric generator; Steam turbine
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