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AC Generator Design

  1. Mar 23, 2015 #1
    If you buy a generator (gas powered etc) there is only a certain amount of watts that the generator can put out. This is because the engine only has a certain power rating (and losses). However, if one were to put a higher power engine on the generator head and remove the safety breaker for amperage, you could get more power from the generator head. However, the generator head design would be underrated for this and surely can not handle it and would malfunction.

    What about the generator would malfunction in this scenario? In my opinion the system would overheat from the higher amperage. The cooling is not designed for this. However, is this the only problem you can think of?

    My thoughts are could there be some way of expanding the cooling to get a higher output generator. Specifically, setting the generator head in a bath of mineral oil. People do this to computers for cooling all of the time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2015 #2
    Usually with any system, electrical or otherwise, it's always possible to take a standard design of something and 'soup it up' to some extent beyond it's original design.
    At some stage however you'll get into a situation where multiple components are breaking frequently and there is no value in trying to push things further.
  4. Mar 23, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Overheating in the windings would likely be the first problem, but as you increased the output you'd start to push other components beyond their limits. For example, the more powerful motor will be delivering more torque to the generator head, which will eventually kill the shaft bearings. That's just an example - every component of the generator will have been sized according to the expected output, and you cannot take it for granted that they will work outside that range.

    As rootone said above, it's usually possible to "soup up" a mechanism to get it to operate outside of its design parameters. When you do this, you aren't improving the design, you're choosing a different design based on a different set of safety and reliability tradeoffs.

    BTW: If you are not asking just of curiosity but because you have an application in mind.... An internet forum is not the place to be asking. Find a generator that is rated for your application and use it within its design range.
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