Alternator , generator efficiency

  1. Hi I've been looking in google although I can't find a definitive answer, what are the usual efficiency range for alternators, some talk about brushed ones in the range of 50 to 60 % , brushelss some say go as highas 75%, maybe some of you folks know from your experience what are the typical efficiency of a power station generator for example, does the efficiency increase with size?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    It does increase with size and power stations run on the order of 95%.
     
  4. You may want to read this thread https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=738434&page=4
    It doesn't give the complete answer, but discuss about generator efficiency. Generators are never high efficient machines.
     
  5. jim hardy

    jim hardy 5,171
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    I believe you'll find power plant alternators can beat 98%.
    They do tricks like use compressed hydrogen for cooling because hydrogen being less dense than air takes less power to pump .
    Utility would prefer to sell that energy as electricity than dump it as heat.
    Here's a Toshiba link offering 99%.
    http://www3.toshiba.co.jp/power/english/thermal/products/generators/hydrogen.htm

    In a car alternator the only incentive for efficiency is there's less heat to get rid of, so efficiency lets you reduce heat transfer area which means a more compact unit.
    With today's smaller engines and fuel economy mandates there's probably increased attention to efficiency - but in my day everybody had 400 cubic inches and a half acre engine compartment..
    http://www.moparmusclemagazine.com/...rysler_300d_well_traveled_brute/photo_01.html

    [​IMG]
     
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