How does an alternator work?

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Community Answer 1

The alternator houses a rotor that is connected to your engine. The engine will spin this rotor depending on how many RPMs youre producing. The alternator also houses a ring that goes around this rotor. Basically, the rotor creates a magnetic fieid as it spins and the ring acts as the catcher and harnesses that energy in the form of AC power. However, your battery uses DC power so before it sends this power out it converts it to DC.

Your alternator should cause about 14V to flow through your battery even when all the electric components in your car are turned on. Anything under 12 might be cause for concern.


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Community Answer 2

The alternator consists of a spinning set of electrical windings called a rotor, a stationary set of windings called a stator, a rectifier assembly, a set of brushes to maintain electrical contact with the rotor, and a pulley. All of these parts except the pulley are contained in an aluminum housing. Today?s alternators use compact, electronic voltage regulators that may be housed inside the alternator or the voltage regulator function may be handled by the vehicle?s powertrain control module (PCM).


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Community Answer 3

The alternator develops electrical power by converting rotational energy into electrical energy through constantly varying magnetic lines of force that intersect wires. The rotor receives excitation voltage from the battery. There are two slip rings supplying the rotor with power. One is typically grounded, and the other is fed from a regulator that varys the pulse width, and thus the voltage, to the rotor. The rotor spins and induces a rotating magnetic field into the stator. The stator is wound in a three phase delta configuration, and generates alternating current, with frequency dependent on speed. The stator is connected to a full wave bridge rectifier (six diodes) that converts the AC into DC. This output is connected to the battery through a heavy cable. Since the rotor and stator have multiple poles, the AC frequency is relatively high. Since the alternator is three phase, the ripple on the DC output is relatively small.

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Community Answer 4

Winding a coil of wire around an iron core can make a magnet. If a magnet is passed near a wire, an induced current will flow in that wire. If many magnets are rapidly passed over a coil of wire, much more induced current will be produced. If many magnets are passed over several coils of wire, even more current will be produced. Although Alternators vary by manufacturer, there are two elements common to all alternators; the stationary stator and the rotating rotor. The stator consists of three sets of individual windings wound around a laminated circular iron stator frame. Each individual winding is made up of seven coils, which in turn are made up of several individual loops all connected in series. Each coil and each loop are connected so as to increase the total voltage output. Each group of windings has only two leads, one for current to flow in, and the other for current to flow out.
a moving magnetic current cuts through wires producing a current in the coil turning rotor driving belt
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