Forklift Alternators - An alternator is a machine that converts mechanical energy into electric energy. It does this in the form of an electrical current. Basically, an AC electrical generator could also be labeled an alternator. The word typically refers to a small, rotating device driven by automotive and different internal combustion engines. Alternators which are situated in power stations and are powered by steam turbines are referred to as turbo-alternators. Nearly all of these machines make use of a rotating magnetic field but from time to time linear alternators are likewise used.
When the magnetic field around a conductor changes, a current is produced inside the conductor and this is how alternators produce their electrical energy. Often the rotor, which is a rotating magnet, revolves within a stationary set of conductors wound in coils situated on an iron core which is actually called the stator. If the field cuts across the conductors, an induced electromagnetic field likewise called EMF is produced as the mechanical input makes the rotor to revolve. This rotating magnetic field generates an AC voltage in the stator windings. Normally, there are 3 sets of stator windings. These physically offset so that the rotating magnetic field produces 3 phase currents, displaced by one-third of a period with respect to each other.
In a "brushless" alternator, the rotor magnetic field can be made by production of a permanent magnet or by a rotor winding energized with direct current through brushes and slip rings. Brushless AC generators are normally found in larger devices compared to those used in automotive applications. A rotor magnetic field can be generated by a stationary field winding with moving poles in the rotor. Automotive alternators often use a rotor winding which allows control of the voltage generated by the alternator. It does this by varying the current in the rotor field winding. Permanent magnet machines avoid the loss because of the magnetizing current within the rotor. These devices are restricted in size because of the price of the magnet material. The terminal voltage varies with the speed of the generator as the permanent magnet field is constant.
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