# AC generators and Transformers

• Biker
In summary: So in summary, by connecting an AC generator to a transformer, the voltage on the secondary coil will depend on the ratio between the number of turns, and only one specific resistance should be placed in the secondary coil circuit to satisfy the power usage. If a different resistance is placed, the generator will speed up or slow down depending on its load. The energy will either be conserved or dissipated, depending on the resistance. The generator's speed is regulated by adjusting the mechanical torque.
Biker
So Assume that I have an AC generator and I am giving it enough power to keep spinning with the same rate. So I have limited power usage. The generator creates maximum voltage V and because power is limited that leaves me with only 1 specific current. Now if I connect this generator to a transformer. The voltage on the secondary coil will be Vs and it depends on the ratio between the number of turns Which means there is only 1 specific resistance should be placed in the secondary coil circuit to satisfy the power usage. What if I place a different resistance? What will happen to this system?

Biker said:
What if I place a different resistance? What will happen to this system?
If the resistance is higher, the amperage and power are lower and the generator just has an easier time.

If the resistance is lower, the load demands more power than the generator can provide and it fails. The exact mode of failure depends on the specifics of the generator and its prime mover, but it may shut down or it may just slow down and lower the voltage until the power drops back into its range.

anorlunda and Biker
russ_watters said:
If the resistance is higher, the amperage and power are lower and the generator just has an easier time.

If the resistance is lower, the load demands more power than the generator can provide and it fails. The exact mode of failure depends on the specifics of the generator and its prime mover, but it may shut down or it may just slow down and lower the voltage until the power drops back into its range.
About high resistance, What about energy conservation? where does the energy go?

The low resistance part, I think in the case of giving it the same power it will probably just fail because it won't be able to slow down if I am giving it energy. Which means a bit of fire I guess.

Biker said:
So Assume that I have an AC generator and I am giving it enough power to keep spinning with the same rate. So I have limited power usage. The generator creates maximum voltage V and because power is limited that leaves me with only 1 specific current. Now if I connect this generator to a transformer. The voltage on the secondary coil will be Vs and it depends on the ratio between the number of turns Which means there is only 1 specific resistance should be placed in the secondary coil circuit to satisfy the power usage. What if I place a different resistance? What will happen to this system?
The generator will speed up or slow down depending on whether it is underloaded or overloaded.

Let's assume the system without the transformer as the transformer only transfers the power. It won't make any difference.

The input to the generator is mechanical torque. Say your input mechanical torque is 10Nm and your generator is running at N rpm and it generates a voltage of 100V with a load resistance of 100 ohm. Now, the current is 1A and electrical power is 100V*1A=100W. Now, if you added one more 100 ohm resistance in parallel with the load, the equivalent load resistance is 50 ohm, meaning the load is doubled. If your mechanical input torque is constant at 10Nm, the generator will slow down and voltage developed by the generator will drop to 50V. Note that the load current will still be 1A. So the power supplied by the generator will drop to 50W.

russ_watters
cnh1995 said:
The generator will speed up or slow down depending on whether it is underloaded or overloaded.

Let's assume the system without the transformer as the transformer only transfers the power. It won't make any difference.

The input to the generator is mechanical torque. Say your input mechanical torque is 10Nm and your generator is running at N rpm and it generates a voltage of 100V with a load resistance of 100 ohm. Now, the current is 1A and electrical power is 100V*1A=100W. Now, if you added one more 100 ohm resistance in parallel with the load, the equivalent load resistance is 50 ohm, meaning the load is doubled. If your mechanical input torque is constant at 10Nm, the generator will slow down and voltage developed by the generator will drop to 50V. Note that the load current will still be 1A. So the power supplied by the generator will drop to 50W.
So basically, If the load doesn't consume all of the energy supplied, the energy will speed up the generator. If it takes more than it should,then it will take energy more than supplied from the generator which means it will slow down until it reaches equilibrium again.

Really nice.

Biker said:
So basically, If the load doesn't consume all of the energy supplied, the energy will speed up the generator. If it takes more than it should,then it will take energy more than supplied from the generator which means it will slow down until it reaches equilibrium again.

Really nice.
Yes. In steady state, power generated= power consumed (+losses). Generators speed up or slow down as per the loading. Power plants have automatic systems which regulate the speeds of their generators by adjusting the mechanical torque.

Biker
Biker said:
About high resistance, What about energy conservation? where does the energy go?
Energy is conserved. Check the equations; higher resistance = lower power and low resistance = higher power.
V=IR and P=VI so if "R" goes down, "I" goes up and "P" goes up.
The low resistance part, I think in the case of giving it the same power it will probably just fail because it won't be able to slow down if I am giving it energy. Which means a bit of fire I guess.
If you are giving the generator the same input rotational power and trying to hold the rpm constant, it will have to slow down because there won't be enough torque to keep it spinning at the same rate. Again: check your equations: P= tw [torque times angular speed]

The input and output power must match in a steady-state situation. If they don't, *something* will change to make them become equal. Like an angular acceleration (deceleration).

Last edited:
Biker
Biker said:
So basically, If the load doesn't consume all of the energy supplied, the energy will speed up the generator. If it takes more than it should,then it will take energy more than supplied from the generator which means it will slow down until it reaches equilibrium again.
Right: unless there is a controller that can regulate the rotational power (actually just torque, at constant RPM) provided by the prime mover.

Biker

## 1. How do AC generators work?

AC generators, also known as alternators, work by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. This is done through the use of a rotating magnet within a stationary coil of wire. As the magnet rotates, it creates a changing magnetic field which induces an alternating current (AC) in the coil.

## 2. What is the purpose of a transformer in an AC circuit?

A transformer is used in an AC circuit to change the voltage level of the electricity. It does this by using two coils of wire, a primary coil and a secondary coil, that are wrapped around a shared iron core. The changing magnetic field in the primary coil induces a current in the secondary coil, allowing for voltage transformation.

## 3. How do you calculate the output voltage of a transformer?

The output voltage of a transformer can be calculated using the formula: Vout = (Nout/Nin) * Vin, where Nout is the number of turns in the secondary coil, Nin is the number of turns in the primary coil, and Vin is the input voltage.

## 4. What is the difference between a step-up and step-down transformer?

A step-up transformer increases the voltage level of the electricity, while a step-down transformer decreases the voltage level. This is achieved by having a different number of turns in the primary and secondary coils, as well as using different ratios of input and output voltage.

## 5. Can AC generators and transformers be used with DC electricity?

No, AC generators and transformers are specifically designed to work with alternating current (AC) electricity. They cannot be used with direct current (DC) electricity as the changing magnetic field is necessary for their operation. However, AC can be converted to DC using a rectifier, which is often used in combination with transformers for certain applications.

• Mechanics
Replies
77
Views
5K
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
15
Views
1K
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
8
Views
1K
• Mechanics
Replies
2
Views
3K
• Electromagnetism
Replies
8
Views
174
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
10
Views
1K
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
5
Views
1K
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Electrical Engineering
Replies
26
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
2K