A simple AC generator. Image credit electronics-tutorials.ws

A simple AC generator. Image credit electronics-tutorials.ws

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: The Alternating Power generator

  • In an Alternating Current (AC) generator the current changes direction as the coil turns
  • An AC generator is made up a rectangular coil that rotates between the poles of a permanent magnet
  • The ends of the coil are connected to slip rings
  • Against these slip rings are carbon brushes which press lightly just making contact with the slip rings
  • As the coil rotates it cuts the magnetic lines of force and a current is induced in the coil
  • The carbon brushes take the current from the coil
  • The current will keep changing direction every half rotation( 180°) turn of the coil
  • Thus the current that is output by this type of generator is known as
  • Alternating current
  • Typical ZESA current that is used in households and industries changes direction about 50 times each second
  • This is expressed as 50 Hertz or 50HZ
  • Such real world generators employ other sophisticated mechanisms to achieve this

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.

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