What is A Generator?

What is A Generator?

Let's face it, practically everyone nowadays has heard the term "generator," and it's safe to say that most people have a fairly accurate understanding of a generator's basic function. However, if you've never used or seen a generator, you might be wondering "what does a generator do? How does a generator work? And how can a generator benefit my business?" Well, wonder no more. We've crafted this article to provide answers to these very questions, and to provide details about the machine that is the lifeblood of Powertrip Rentals - the Electric Generator.

The first thing to understand is the terminology. The term "generator," refers to any device that converts mechanical energy into electricity, and specific types of generators are named according to the way in which that mechanical energy is produced. Thus a "hydro-electric generator," like those used at the Hoover Dam in Las Vegas, NV produces electricity through the mechanical energy of water, while a "diesel-generator" produces electricity from mechanical energy derived from diesel fuel. What we typically call a "generator" is more specifically referred to as a generator-set, or an engine-generator. This self-contained device essentially consists of an engine attached to an alternator, and is capable of providing an independent source of electricity. Thus, the most basic function of a generator is to provide electric power.

Electricity is among the most ubiquitous and essential utilities for contemporary business and society. It is used in nearly every home, business and locality to power the devices that make modern business possible. For these reasons, modern businesses and society rely on a continuous stream of electric power. However, while power-grids help to bring electric power to millions of metropolitan locations, the primary power-grid is still susceptible to interruption due to environmental factors, malfunctions or other occurrences. Moreover, many business operations like construction, mining operations, film-production, concerts, and events occur in remote locations where grid-power is unavailable.

The problem of maintaining a continuous stream of electric power in locations not connected to the power-grid highlights the principle advantage of a Portable Generator. But, how does a generator work? How does a generator make power? In fact, a generator does not really "make" energy - that's physically impossible. The first law of thermodynamics, known more generally in physics as the law of conservation of energy, holds that the total energy in a given system is constant - energy can neither be created nor destroyed - energy can merely change forms. Thus a generator "generates" electric power by converting energy stored in one form, usually diesel or gasoline fuel, into energy of another form, mechanical energy. This mechanical energy does the "work" that produces electricity. The work being done within a generator system is similar to that of an automotive engine. In your car, mechanical energy is produced within the engine through the process of combustion. This mechanical energy is then turned in to useful energy which spins the drive shaft and puts your car in motion. Similar to your car's alternator, which converts mechanical energy from the engine into useful electrical current that can recharge your car's battery, a generator has an engine which converts fuel into the mechanical energy required to produce useful amounts of electrical power. Regardless of how the mechanical energy is produced, we measure the electrical output of the generator in similar ways.

The standard unit used to measure a generator's output is the kilowatt (kW). The prefix "kilo" means 1000 and thus a "kilowatt" corresponds to 1000 watts. A watt (W) measures the rate of energy transfer, and is defined as 1 joule per second. A joule equals the energy required to pass 1 ampere (amp) through the resistance of 1 ohm for 1 second. An amp is the standard unit of current, while the ohm is the standard unit of resistance. If you're confused, don't worry. The basic idea is that a generator uses the mechanical energy of the engine to spin an electro-magnetic alternator that forces amps to pass through resistance and complete the electric circuit. The more amp charges that are forced across the circuit, the more kilowatts generated. As more amps are required, the size of the alternator and engine must be increased. Thus, as the generator's power increases, so does the size of the generator. This is why generators designed to deliver many thousands of kilowatts have tended to be quite large. It is thus extremely important to understand your business's power requirements in kilowatts in order understand which generator will best serve your needs.

While the smallest generators are available for only hundreds of dollars, industrial generator solutions can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more. While investing in a backup generator can often be invaluable in protecting your business from downtime, many remote business operations require a generator for a short - term power solution. In these situations, like music festivals, movie-productions, or public events, the cost effective approach is to rent, rather than purchase, a generator. When renting generators, it is important to select a provider with the skills, expertise and equipment that will best serve your business needs. Powertrip Rentals provides generator rental that will save you money, and give you access to the industry best electric generators. Moreover, our experts will walk your event, consult with your planners, and determine your exact power needs. We provide all the tools, equipment, and services that you'll need, all conveniently delivered to your project site. This approach saves you money, and ensures your project has the power you need without the extra bills you don't. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or use our website to request a quote for your power generation needs.

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