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Generators are devices that convert motive power into electrical power for use in an external circuit. Sources of motive power include steam turbines, gas turbines, water turbines, internal combustion engines and hand cranks. Generators provide nearly all of the power for electric power grids. The first generator was invented in 1831 by British scientist Michael more

Generators are devices that convert motive power into electrical power for use in an external circuit. Sources of motive power include steam turbines, gas turbines, water turbines, internal combustion engines and hand cranks. Generators provide nearly all of the power for electric power grids. The first generator was invented in 1831 by British scientist Michael Faraday, known as the Faraday disk. Many buildings have back up generators that provide energy when there is a power outage. These places include hospitals, military bases, laboratories and government facilities.

Gas generators are a device that is used to generate gas. They create a gas by chemical reaction or from a solid or liquid source. The gas is typically used to drive a turbine rather than to provide thrust as in a rocket engine, as the common misconception is thought that a gas generator is used as a rocket propellant. These types pf generators are typically used to power turbo pumps in rocket engines.

Another common use is in the industrial gases industry, where gas generators are used to produce gaseous chemicals for sale. An example of this being the chemical oxygen generator, which produces breathable oxygen over a prolonged period.

Alternators are a type of generator that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy in the form of alternating current. Most alternators use a rotating magnetic field with a stationary armature. Occasionally a linear alternator is used. Any AC (alternative current) generator can be called an alternator, but usually the term refers to a small rotating machine is driven by automotive and other internal combustion engines. An alternator that uses a permanent magnet for its magnetic field is called a magneto. Alternators in power stations driven by steam turbines are called turbo-alternators.

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