How do portable generators work

In order to operate your power device efficiently, you have to understand how do portable generators work. In this article we take an in-depth look in the way modern gen-sets function.

What are the parts of a portable generator?Generator-Components

Basically a gen-set (this is a common name for the portable generators) converts mechanical energy into electricity. The device consists of several parts:

  1. Internal combustion engine
  2. Alternator
  3. Starter
  4. Fuel tank
  5. Outlets

How does a portable generator work exactly? The fuel burns and the excessive gas volumes that extend after ignition move the shaft. Attached to it you will find the head which is used to create a rotating magnetic field. The distortion causes the electrons to move which results in a steady flow. This is how electricity is produced.

Some of the devices are also equipped with an adjustable mechanism that lets you set the rotation speed to a certain value. In this way you can control the power output and fuel consumption.

You will also notice that the gen-sets are equipped with different kinds of power cables. The reason behind this is that no particular item can fit a wide range of needs.

How do I know if the generator is powerful enough?

Amperes, volts and watts are used to describe the characteristics of a generator. So what do they stand for? These explanations are rather simplified, but they will let you grasp the idea:
Amperes is basically the amount of electrons that passes through the wires;
Voltage is the ‘pressure’ that ‘pushes’ the energy. Generally there are 120v and 240v devices available in the market;
Watts are calculated by multiplying amperes by voltage. The more watts are produced, the more powerful your generator is.

Keep in mind however that more doesn’t always mean better. Excessive power output will cause malfunctions, and may even be dangerous for your life and health. The value of electricity produced by the generator should be proportional to the demands of your household.

Now that you understand how portable generators work, you can determine if your gen-set device is working efficiently and fix the issues.

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