How do generators produce electricity?


A common question asked by power enthusiasts is: ‘How do generators produce electricity?’ Well throughout this post, we will answer: how do generators produce electricity? As well as explain some different types of generators. In today’s world, where reliable power sources are vital for various industries and events, generators play a crucial role in ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply. Understanding how generators produce electricity is essential, whether it’s powering events, construction sites, or providing backup during emergencies. Let’s delve into the mechanics behind this fundamental process.

How do Generators Produce Electricity?

So, How do generators produce electricity? Generators, also known as gensets, are devices that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. They work on the principle of electromagnetic induction, discovered by Michael Faraday in the early 19th century. This principle forms the foundation of electrical generation in generators.

At the heart of a generator lies an engine, typically fuelled by diesel, petrol, natural gas, or propane. The engine drives a rotor or an armature, which is a coil of wire rotating within a magnetic field. This rotation induces a flow of electrons, generating an electric current.

The magnetic field necessary for this process is created by the excitation system. In most generators, this is achieved using a component called an exciter, which supplies direct current (DC) to the rotor’s windings, thus creating a magnetic field. In some modern generators, the excitation is achieved through a permanent magnet system, eliminating the need for a separate exciter.

As the rotor spins within the stator—a stationary component surrounding the rotor—the changing magnetic field induces an alternating current (AC) in the stator windings. This alternating current is what we commonly use in our electrical systems. However, some generators produce direct current (DC) by using a commutator, a device that converts AC to DC by reversing the direction of the current.

The produced electricity is then transferred through conductors to the load, which could be anything from light bulbs to heavy machinery. The load draws power from the generator, utilising the electrical energy for various applications.

How do generators produce electricity?

Types of Generators

In addition to understanding the basic principles of how generators produce electricity, it’s important to consider the different types of generators available and their specific applications.

  1. Portable Generators: These are versatile units commonly used for outdoor events, construction sites, or as backup power sources for homes and small businesses. They are typically powered by petrol or diesel and provide a convenient solution for temporary electricity needs. An example of these generators is our generators. Our generators range from 6-160kva and are used as temporary power solutions. View our range of generators here.
  2. Standby Generators: Often installed permanently, standby generators automatically kick in during power outages to provide uninterrupted electricity to homes, hospitals, data centres, and other critical facilities. They are usually fuelled by natural gas or propane for continuous operation.
  3. Industrial Generators: These heavy-duty units are designed to meet the demanding power requirements of large-scale operations such as factories, mining sites, and offshore platforms. They can run for extended periods and are built for reliability and durability.
  4. Renewable Energy Generators: With the growing emphasis on sustainability, generators powered by renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectricity are gaining popularity. These generators harness the power of nature to produce clean and environmentally friendly electricity.


In conclusion, generators play a vital role in meeting our ever-growing demand for electricity. Hopefully when you are asked ‘How do generators produce electricity?’, you now know. By understanding how generators produce electricity and the different types available, we can make informed decisions regarding their usage for events, construction projects, emergency preparedness, and more. As technology advances, generators continue to evolve, offering more efficient and sustainable solutions for powering our world.

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