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What's the Difference Between Electric Motors and Generators

What's the difference between electric motors and generators

Knowledge is power, as they say. If you're looking to repair or replace your generators or electric motors, San Diego is just the place. As evidenced by top specialists in electric motor repair San Diego can offer, it pays off to know how they work and how that ultimately affects what they can do for you. It’s also important to be in the know as this will aid you in making informed decisions in terms of electric motor repair, such as whether it can be rewound or not. Here are the crucial differences between these two device types.

The basics of generators vs electric motors

Generators and electric motors are each other’s polar opposites. And yet, they’re both electromagnetic devices that contain current-carrying loops that are being rotated inside magnetic fields. This creates a fast-changing magnetic field that produces electromotive forces we know as voltages or emfs. Electric generators turn mechanical energy into electric energy, whereas electric motors do the opposite by transforming electric energy into mechanical.

Building generators and electric motors San Diego

Both generators and electric motors that can be repaired at San Diego’s best ship repair companies contain current-carrying loops that constantly rotate inside a magnetic field. These loops are twined around the armature, which is an iron core that strengthens the magnetic field within them. The current in these loops reverses its direction, which results in the armature - and the loops - to continuously rotate. The loops’ changing direction is what results in the generation of an induced emf.

Despite its name, an emf isn’t a force per se, but a potential difference between the terminals of a mechanism that transforms one energy type into electrical energy. For instance, a battery converts chemical energy into electrical, which makes it an emf source. A voltage is a potential difference. Having a good grasp of these mechanics is also vital when performing generator repair.

First-rate AC generators and AC electric motors San Diego

AC generators used in the ship repair and fabrication industry transform mechanical energy into electrical by using mechanical energy to rotate the loops inside the magnetic field. The generated emf is therefore a time-variable sine wave. In the US, a common source of energy is the steam that is released by burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, or natural gas. In Europe, steam is usually created by nuclear fission. Wind and air can be used as well, but they aren’t as efficient and generally cost more.

AC motors, on the other hand, convert electrical energy into mechanical. The loops within the magnetic field are rotated with an alternating current. Most of these motors rely on induction to produce the current. The magnetic field is caused by an electromagnet. The said field utilizes the same voltage that the coils also use.

Need to repair your generators or electric motors San Diego?

Here at PCE, we pride ourselves on being top-of-the-line electric motor specialists. We have four decades of experience as a leading ship repair company and employ only the most cutting-edge tools and techniques. Over the years, we’ve even had multiple contracts with the US Navy. For all your generator or electric motor needs, reach out to PCE!

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1620 Rigel Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 233-5096 
Diesel & Motor Division
3376 Main Street
San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 235-0961
Fax: (619) 687-0038 
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Aiea, HI 96701-3281
Phone: (808) 486-6600
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Everett, WA 98201-1300
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