A DC Generator showing the basic components. Image credit blogspot.com

A DC Generator showing the basic components. Image credit blogspot.com

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes: The direct current generator

  • In a DC generator current only flows in one direction
  • A DC generator has a commutator instead of slip rings
  • A current is generated as the coil rotates between the poles
  • The coil cuts the magnetic force lines of the magnet
Flow of current in a generator. Image credit electrical4u.com

Flow of current in a generator. Image credit electrical4u.com

  • A current is thus induced in the coil and collected by the commutator
  • As the coil turns there is a change of contact in the vertical position
  • One brush remains positive while the other remains negative
  • The commutator has a split metal ring which keeps contact with the positive terminal when the coil is on the other side
  • And with the negative terminal when it moves to the opposite side as well
  • The commutator thus “reverses” the direction of current
  • This ensures that the current generated keeps flowing in one direction
  • A real world DC generator has more than one coil
  • This ensures that the current produced is much smoother and will match that of produced by for example cells
  • Other sophisticated methods are also employed to make the generator more usable in the real world

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

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