Difference between AC and DC Generator

As we know that electrical generator is one kind of machine, used to change the energy from mechanical to electrical using the electromagnetic induction principle. According to Faraday’s law, an electromagnetic force can be induced when a conductor cuts the flux of lines. So this will cause a flow of current within the conductors. Here, the flow of the current direction can be found with the help of the right-hand rule of Flemming. Based on the attained output, this electrical generator can be classified into two types namely AC generator and DC generator. This article discusses the main difference between AC and DC generators.

Difference between AC and DC Generator

The main difference between AC and DC generator mainly includes its definitions, direction of current flow, design, commutators, rings, the efficiency of brushes, the possibility of the short circuit, armature, rotating parts, induction current, o/p voltage, maintenance, cost, types, distribution & transmission, efficiency & applications. These differences are listed in a tabular format where these differences can aid engineering students to learn about this concept in a better way. Before going to discuss the differences, it is very important to know it’s basics.

Basics of AC Generator

A generator that is used to change the energy from mechanical to electrical in the form of AC is known as AC generator. This kind of generator uses an electromagnetic induction principle while changing the energy.

AC Generator
AC Generator

Basics of DC Generator

A generator that is used to change the energy from mechanical to electrical in the form of DC is known as DC generator. This type of generator use energetically induced electromotive force while changing the energy. Please refer to this link to know more about Generators – Working, Types & Advantages

DC Generator
DC Generator

The Main Differences

Function

AC Generator

DC Generator

DefinitionA mechanical device used to convert the energy from mechanical to electrical in the form of AC.A mechanical device used to convert the energy from mechanical to electrical in the form of DC.
DesignThe design of this generator is simpleThe design of this generator is complex because of slip rings and commutators
The flow of Current DirectionIn this generator, the direction of the flow of current will reverses periodically.In this generator, the flow of current will be in one direction.
TypesThese generators are classified into different types namely single-phase, 3-phase and synchronous and induction generator.These generators are two types like Separately excited & Self-excited.
CommutatorsIt doesn’t have commutatorsIt has commutators to make the flow of current in one direction
CostThe cost of this generator is high.The cost of this generator is low.
Brushes EfficiencyThese are highly efficient because slip rings have an uninterrupted and smooth surface.These are less efficient

Because both the commutators and brushes exhaust easily.

Possibility of Short CircuitThe short circuit possibility is very less because the brushes contain high efficiencyThe short circuit possibility is high because the commutators and brushes exhaust quickly
ArmatureIn this type of generator, the armature is the rotor for all timeIn this type of generator, the armature is either stator/rotor.
MaintenanceThe maintenance of this generator is lessIt requires frequent maintenance
Distribution & TransmissionThe output of this generator can be easily distributed through a transformer.The output of this generator can be complicated to distribute because the transformer is not used.
Induction of CurrentIn this generator, the induction of current can be in the stator/rotor.In this generator, the induction of current can be in the rotor.
Output VoltageThe output voltage of this generator is highThe output voltage of this generator is low
ApplicationsThe applications of this generator mainly include giving power to mini motors as well as electrical appliances used at homes like mixers, vacuum cleaners.The applications of this generator mainly include giving power for large electric motors such as subway systems.

Thus, this is all about the main difference between AC & DC generators. The AC & DC generator is differentiated in tabular format in the above. These are the main differences with several high-level concepts to provide in-depth about these generators. Here is a question for you, what are the rings in AC and DC generator?

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