As aircraft rely on a number of navigation systems, radios, and electronic equipment for standard operations, there must be another source of power generation. Luckily, this often comes in the form of alternators and generators, the latter being more prevalent in older aircraft models. As it may be possible to fly an aircraft with a generator as its main energy production source, it is important to have a basic understanding of such apparatuses.
Like alternators, generators act to transform mechanical energy into electrical energy that can be harnessed by various devices and systems needed for flight, safety, and comfort. As stated before, generators are most commonly found on older aircraft, more specifically being popular for light aircraft models. Beyond providing power that ranges from 14 to 28 volts, generators also perform the crucial role of charging the aircraft battery that enables engine starting procedures to be carried out.
Like those used for other applications, aircraft generators produce electrical energy by having conductive wires passed through a strong electrical field. Generally, copper wire is wound around an armature that is bolted onto a drive pulley, allowing it to be moved through a magnetic field during generator operation. As this occurs, electricity will be induced in the wires, terminating at a section of the armature that is known as the commutator. Here, power is then passed from the commutator to stationary carbon brushes before continuing through the system. Before power is transferred to commutators, current is in an alternating form. As such, the commutator is a modified slip ring arrangement that transforms alternating current into direct current voltage that is usable by the battery and other devices.
Depending on the aircraft in question, there are three main types of DC generators that one may find. One popular type is the series generator, and these apparatuses feature a field winding that is connected in series with an external circuit. As these generators suffer from poor voltage and current regulation, they are rarely found on aircraft. With parallel wound DC generators, a field winding is connected in parallel with the external circuit, and these generators feature the ability to have increases in output voltages in response to load decreases, and vice versa. The final common generator type is the compound wound DC generator, and these feature two field windings where one is in series and the other is in parallel with the load.
While alternators have since superseded many aircraft generators, they can still be found in numerous models. Here on ASAP Inventory, we can help you secure all the aircraft generator parts and aircraft accessories that you require to carry out your operations with competitive pricing and rapid lead times for your benefit. Take the time to explore our website as you see fit, and note that every listing is ready for purchase at any time. As such, we encourage you to fill out and submit an RFQ form at your earliest convenience for any items of interest, and our team will respond with a competitive quote for your comparisons in 15 minutes or less.
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