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Generator

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Mechanical Features and Designs
Large Electric Generators With-in the Hoover Dam
A generator is a machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. This process relies on the relationship between electricity and magnetism. This invention has been a particularly useful contribution to the equipment industries, including logging, construction, agriculture, or transportation etc.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Electrostatic Electricity

Electricity has no early beginnings as it has always been around but the first idea of its concept was not recorded until 1600 when William Gilbert used the term “electrica” in an academic publication. What electricity could accomplish was not fathomed at this time.[1]

Otto Von Guericke was one of the first to experiment with the concept of electricity and created a Madgeburg vacuum in 1663, which became known as the first electrostatic generator. The generator itself consisted of a rotating ball of sulfur. Rubbing the ball produced friction that converted into electrostatic energy.[2]

The rotor disc generator used electrostatic energy used a mercury based leather cushion in place of an operator’s hand to produce a stronger charge. Glass and rubber were materials used for the discs as generators evolved because they received the charges with less damage.

One version of the electrostatic disc machine was the Wimshurst machine, invented by James Wimshurst between 1880 and 1883. The Wimshurst machine induced electrostatic charge with two plexi-glass contra-rotary discs that caused friction with a metal foil section.[3]

Electrostatic generators were even operated by steam at one point. Their use didn’t become widespread due to the heavy costs and high maintenance associated with them.

The Van de Graaff generator is another example of the electrostatic generator and it is still in use to this day. A ball on the Van de Graafe generator receives a high electrostatic charge by tapes that move over it.[4]

[edit] Electromagnetic Electricity

The first person to successfully invent an electromagnetic device was Ruhmkorff in 1857. Rhumkorff’s invention essentially limited the use of electrostatic generators because it couldn’t produce the level of charge that electromagnetic could.

Michael Faraday invented the first electric generator in 1831. He induced a steady electric current by producing friction between two wires and a copper disc. He used an induction ring to transform electric currents from one point to another. An electric current was produced by attaching two wires to a copper pad. The copper pad rotated between two horseshoe magnets in order to produce a steady flow of electricity.[5]

The first generator for public used was the dynamo, invented by a Frenchmen named Hippolyte Pixii in 1833. Pixii developed on Faraday’s concepts of electromagnetic currents. He created a device that cranked electricity by hand. This type of generator created alternating currents by using a magnet with revolving coils. At the suggestion of a friend, Pixii included a a commutator, a device that changes alternating currents into direct currents.[6]

[edit] Features/How it Works

Generators measure their voltage in volts, frequency in hertz, and power in watts.

An engine generator or genset, is a combination of an electric motor and generator in one device and are used in circumstances that require a continuous flow of electricity. Reverse metering occurs when the genset produces more energy than is required and it is automatically returned to the device.[7]

Generators have had a huge impact on the construction, forestry, and transportation industries. The use of generators meant that projects could be worked on throughout the night, elongating the workday and that work could be carried out in various environments regardless of restrictions and without little worry of electricity supply.[8]

[edit] Types

Caterpillar supplies a range of diesel gensets with kilowatts of 12 to 10,475 and natural gas gensets with 11 to 4,9000 kilowatts.

The newest models include the C175 disel generator set  with a two to four megawatts of power. Cat generators come with a variety of attachments and features. Cat’s new line of generators meet the U.S. EPA guidelines regarding carbon emissions.[9]

Cummins Power Generation Inc. introduced a new line of generators just recently, including the 30-38VA, which generates 50 hertz and 27 to 35 kilowatts. Features include the PowerCommand 1.1 digital control, a Cummins Excitation Boost System or EBS, which provides one horsepower per kilowatt motor starting capability.

In 2007, Cummins produced gensets measured at 10, 15, 20, and 25 kilowatts, all with low emission diesel engines.[10]

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Used & Unused Generators for Sale

Search for unused and used generators being sold at Ritchie Bros. unreserved public auctions.

[edit] References

  1. History of Electrostatic Generator. HP. 2008-09-24.
  2. Guericke Bio. Corrosion-Doctors. 2008-09-24.
  3. Wimshurst. Physics. 2008-09-24.
  4. The History of the Electrostatic Generator. HP. 2008-09-24.
  5. Faraday. About.com. 2008-09-24.
  6. Hyppolyte-Pixii. Madehow.com. 2008-09-24.
  7. What is a Genset. Wisegeek. 2008-09-24.
  8. Drushka, Ken. Tracks in the Forest. Timberjack Group: Helsinki, 1997.
  9. CDA. Cat. 2008-09-24.
  10. CDA. Cat. 2008-09-24.
  11. Generators. OMafra. Gov. 2008-09-24.