Electric generators play a critical role in providing electricity to our homes, businesses, and industries.

Circumstances that lead to the use of a generator can be planned for, like a scheduled power outage. However, unforeseen events can disrupt the flow of electricity, such as severe weather conditions or poor generator maintenance conditions. 

After a generator installation, most consumers wonder how these machines work to produce power. It's vital for generator users to understand how generators create electricity and the best maintenance practices.

How Do Generators Work?

At VIRGINIA POWER SOLUTIONS, our clients often ask about the best generator maintenance practices and how they create electricity. Most of them assume generators generate electricity, but it's not the case. Generators do not "actually create" electricity. Instead, they are machines that convert mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy.

Today, most generators are based on Michael Faraday's discovery in the early 1830s. Faraday found that an electric current was produced when he passed a magnet through a coil of wire. This discovery is the basis for the most common type of generator used today, the electromagnetic generator.

Parts of a Generator

Engine: The engine is what provides the mechanical energy to turn the generator's shaft. Engine type used depends on the application the generator is being used and how much power is required.

The alternator: This is the part responsible for generating the electricity. The engine provides the alternator with mechanical energy, converted into electrical energy. In the alternator, stationary and moving parts work together to create electricity.

Control panel: The control panel allows the user to operate and monitor the generator. The Control panel includes gauges, switches, and circuit breakers that allow the user to operate the generator safely.

Fuel system: The fuel system supplies the engine with the fuel it needs to run. However, the type of fuel used depends on the engine type and the application generator being used.

Cooling system: The cooling system keeps the generator's engine from overheating. The cooling system used depends on the engine type and the environment where the generator is being used.

Voltage regulator: The voltage regulator controls the amount of electricity produced by the generator. Regulators prevent the alternator from producing too much or too little electricity.

Battery charger: The battery charger starts the generator and provides power to the generator's control panel.

Generator Maintenance Tips

Like any other machine, generators require regular maintenance to ensure a long lifespan and reliable performance. A well-maintained generator is more efficient, saving you money on fuel costs. Here are tips for proper generator maintenance:

  • Routine checks by professionals
  • Changing the oil regularly and checking oil levels
  • Cleaning or replacing air filter as needed
  • Checking the fuel system for leaks
  • Storing the generator properly

Need Help With Your Generator in Richmond?

At VIRGINIA POWER SOLUTIONS, we deliver unmatched professional generator maintenance services under one roof.

We offer a wide range of generator services, including turnkey installations, electrical and gas installation, and permitting.

Our highly-qualified generator experts will, step by step, help you find the best generator adequately fitting your needs and budget. With us, you can rest assured of a safe and secure installation and free training on operating and maintaining your generator.

Hesitate no more; contact us today and learn more about our generator services in Ashland, Richmond and the surrounding areas!