Physics

Difference between motor and generator

The electric motor and generator differ in various factors such as the main principle of operation or function of the motor and generator. The consumption or production of electricity, its driven element, the existence of the current in the winding. Fleming’s rule is followed by the motor and the generator. The main difference between motor and generator is that the motor helps in the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy, while the generator helps in the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Motors and generators are electromagnetic devices. They have current coils that rotate in magnetic fields. This rapidly changing magnetic field produces an electromotive force, called an emf or voltage.

Electric motors and generators are opposite each other. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, while electrical generators convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Key differences

  • A motor transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy, while the generator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  • The motor shaft is driven by a magnetic force that is established between the armature and the magnetic field. In contrast, the shaft of a generator is driven by a mechanical force that develops through the continuous rotation of the rotor.
  • An engine follows Fleming’s left hand rule for proper operation. In contrast, a generator follows Fleming’s right hand rule.
  • Electricity is necessary for the operation of a motor, while electricity is generated by the operation of a generator.
  • Motors have their application in vehicles, pulleys and pumps. On the contrary, generators are used in power plants, laboratories, general lighting and battery power, etc.
  • The motor uses electricity to produce mechanical energy. In contrast, a generator does not use electricity to produce electricity.
  • Current is sent to the armature windings of a motor, while current is produced in the armature windings of a generator.
  • A motor works according to the principle of magnetic effect on a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic field, while a generator works according to the principle of electromagnetic induction.
  • The source of energy in a motor is the electrical beams and the electrical supply. On the contrary, the energy sources in a generator are condensing turbines, water turbines and internal ignition engines, etc.

Difference between motor and generator in tabular form

MotorGenerator
DefinitionA machine that works to generate electrical energy from mechanical energy is called a motor.A machine that works to produce electrical energy from mechanical energy is called a generator.
Shaft drivenBy the magnetic force that develops between the armature and the magnetic fieldBy mechanical force due to its attachment to a rotor
ElectricityNecessaryProduced
Current in armature windingsSuppliedProduced
Work ruleFleming’s left-hand ruleFleming’s right-hand rule
SignificanceEM or MGRAM
Power sourcePower supply and power strapsSteam turbines, water turbines, and internal combustion engine
Working principleThe mechanical force exerted on a current-carrying conductor is placed in a magnetic field.Electromagnetic conduction
ConversionElectrical energy into mechanical energyMechanical energy into electrical energy
Electric powerIn the form of entranceIn way out
ExamplesCeiling fans, cars, electric bikes, etc.A generator is used to generate electricity in power plants.

Motor vs Generator

A motor comprises a shaft that rotates under the effect of a magnetic force that develops between the armature and the field. On the other hand, a generator also consists of a shaft, which is attached to the rotor. The rotor is driven by mechanical force, not magnetic force.

In the case of a motor, the current is sent to the armature windings. In contrast, in the case of a generator, the current is not supplied but rather develops in the armature windings. A motor works on the principle of a magnetic effect on the current-carrying conductor when it is placed in a magnetic field. On the other hand, a generator works on the principle of electromagnetic conduction.

The main sources of energy in a motor are the electrical beams and the electrical supply. In contrast, the main sources of energy for a generator are steam turbines, water turbines, and internal combustion engines that provide mechanical power.

All engines are generators. The emf in a generator increases its efficiency, but an emf in a motor contributes to energy waste and inefficiency in its performance. A regenerated emf resists the change of a magnetic field. A regenerated emf appears in an engine after it is started, although not immediately.

It reduces the current in the coil, and it gets bigger as the motor speed increases. This causes the power requirements of the motor to increase, especially under very high loads.

What is the motor?

A motor is described as an electromechanical machine that transfigures electrical energy into mechanical energy. The device, which produces a rotational force, is called a motor. A motor works mainly on the interaction of electric and magnetic fields.

Types of Motors

  • AC motor: Motors where the power source is AC power are called AC motors. In AC motors, no commutators or brushes are used. AC motors have stationary armatures and magnetic fields rotate to produce mechanical energy. AC motors have wide applications in large industries because they are not suitable for domestic applications.
  • DC motor: Motors in which the power source is batteries are called DC motors. In DC motors, commutators and brushes play a critical role in their operation. DC motors have a stationary magnetic field and armatures rotate for mechanical energy production. DC motors are not suitable for large industries; instead, they are suitable for domestic applications.

Working Principle

A motor consists of current-carrying conductors or loops that continuously rotate in a magnetic field. The loops are wrapped around the iron core called the armature, which works to make the magnetic field within them stronger compared to the outside. Current is supplied to the motor by an AC or DC source, depending on the type of motor.

The current in the loops reverses its direction resulting in a constant rotation of the armature and loops. The continuously changing direction of the loops and armature produces mechanical energy.

AC motors

Alternating current motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Alternating current is used to rotate the coils within the magnetic field. Most AC motors produce current through the use of induction. An electromagnet induces the magnetic field and uses the same voltage as the coils.

What is the generator?

A generator is an electromechanical machine that transfigures mechanical energy into an electrical form of energy. Electric generators are used due to their minimal power loss, increased safety, and electricity production.

Electric generators function as an alternative energy source and also protect all electrical merchandise during power outages.

Electric generators have extensive presentations such as hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) propulsion systems, aircraft auxiliary power generation, gust generators, motorized starter generators, and high-speed gas turbine generators.

Types

  • AC Generator: The generator, which produces AC electrical power, is called an AC generator. In AC generators, the current continues to reverse its direction from time to time. AC generators use slip rings so they can have higher efficiency. They are used for small domestic applications.
  • DC Generator: The generator, which produces DC electrical energy, is called a DC generator. In the DC generator, the current flows in only one direction without any change of direction. DC generators use split rings so they wear out quickly. DC generators power large motors.

Working Principle

The operation of generators is different compared to engines. Electric generators work to provide electricity. Mechanical energy is used to rotate the loops in the magnetic field that generated the electromotive force.

The electromotive force generated is a sinusoidal wave that changes with time. The shaft is attached to the rotor, which continuously rotates in the stationary magnetic field to produce electricity.

AC generators

Alternating current generators are different from motors because they convert mechanical energy into electricity. Mechanical energy is used to rotate the coils in the magnetic field, and the electromotive force generated is a sinusoidal wave that varies in time.

Steam from fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas is a common source in countries like the United States. In Europe, nuclear fission is used to create steam. In some hydroelectric plants, such as those found at Niagara Falls, water pressure is used to turn turbines.

Turbines are rotors with blades or blades. Wind and water are not as widely used as fossil fuels to produce mechanical energy, as they are not as efficient and are more expensive.

DC motors and generators

DC motors and generators are similar to their AC counterparts, except they have a split ring called a commutator. The collector is connected to electrical contacts called brushes. Changing the direction of the current through the commutator causes the armature and coils to rotate.

The magnetic field within which the armature rotates can be a permanent magnet or an electromagnet. Direct current generators have an electromotive force generated as direct current.

Conclution

Motors use electricity to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, while generators do not use electricity to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The motor and generator are almost similar from a construction point of view, as they both have a stator and a rotor. The main difference between the two is that the motor is an electrical device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The generator is vice versa of that engine. Converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

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