A magnet is a powerful force. It has the ability to attract iron filings, and even pull steel apart. But most importantly, it has the power to move electrons around.
In order to understand how magnets work, we first need to understand what happens when two objects with opposite charges touch each other. When two oppositely charged objects touch, they repel each other. This creates a lot of energy that gets released as heat.
But what if we could harness this energy instead of letting it go wastefully? We could make our own electricity using magnets! And that’s exactly what we’re going to learn how to do in this tutorial.
We’ll also cover why magnets are used to create electricity, and how they work. Then we’ll look at how to build a generator from scratch, and finally, we’ll put everything together to see how it works.
Also Read: Is it worth getting a solar generator?
Electron spins create tiny magnetic fields. These magnetic fields cancel each other out. Most objects have no net magnetism because the electron spins cancel each other out. However,
Magnets are different than most materials because they’re made up of molecules whose electrons spin in one particular way. When these molecules are aligned in just the right way, the result is a strong magnetic attraction between two magnets.
Have you ever held 2 magnets close to each other? They don’t act like any other object. If you tried to push them apart, they would repel each other. But if you put N and S together, the magnets will cling to each other because N and S are opposites. Like protons and electron s, opposites pull each other.
Electricity can be made using magnetic fields.
Electromagnets can move electric charges. When they do so, they create an electromotive force (EMF). An EMF is just what it sounds like – a voltage difference between two points. In order to produce an EMF, a charge must flow through a conductor. A conductor is something that allows charges to travel freely through it.
For example, a metal bar conducts electricity very easily because the atoms in the metal are arranged in a regular pattern. Copper wires conduct electricity much better than iron wires because the atoms in copper are closer together than those in iron. Metal strips conduct electricity better than bare copper wires because the atoms in the strip are aligned in rows, allowing them to pass electricity without resistance.
Building a perpetual magnetic generator
A few years ago, people thought they could use permanent magnets to create an energy device that would generate electricity indefinitely by turning a small electric motor inside the device.
They believed if the motor and magnet were perfectly matched, they could build a perpetual motion machine. However, after several failed attempts at building such devices, scientists realized they could not match the perfect combination of motor and magnet.
However, these generators and motor units are very efficient, but they still have some electrical losses due to the resistance of the wire and the friction in the bearings. When the experimenters tried running them for a while, eventually they stopped because of the losses and frictions.
A typical power plant generator works by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy through a turbine.
Large electrical generating stations often have large rotating machines called dynamos that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. These machines may consist of multiple sections each containing a series of stationary electromagnets attached to a common shaft. Each magnet can be rotated independently of the others to change the direction of the field they produce.
A number of copper coils are wound around the shafts and these rotate along with the shafts. As the shaft turns, the coils move through the varying magnetic field produced by the electromagnet. The changing magnetic field induces an alternating voltage across the coil windings, creating an electric current.
A number of different techniques can be employed to create the rotation of the generator’s rotor. In a traditional water wheel, the blades spin around an axis, creating a torque that causes the wheel to turn. In modern hydroelectric dams, the water flowing through the dam exerts pressure against the walls of the dam, causing them to move relative to each other. This movement generates electricity. Other types of electric generation include thermal (heat), kinetic (motion), and solar (light).
What type of current does a generator produce?
A generator produces direct current (DC) electricity. DC means there is only one direction for the current to flow. Current flows from positive to negative, but not vice versa. The reason for this is that a battery stores chemical potential energy.
The chemical potential energy of a battery comes from the fact that its electrodes are connected by a wire. As long as the battery is connected, the electrons on one side of the battery cannot escape to the other side. So the electrons stay where they are until the battery is discharged.
When the battery discharges, the electrons leave the positive electrode and enter the negative electrode. At the same time, the ions inside the electrolyte get rearranged. Because the ions are now moving, their chemical potential changes. It becomes more difficult for the ions to remain in place, which causes the chemical potential to drop. This drop in chemical potential creates a change in electrical potential across the battery.
What magnets are used in generators?
Generators use permanent magnets. Permanent magnets are magnets that never lose their strength over time. Unlike electromagnets, permanent magnets don’t need the power to keep them working.
Permanent magnets are made of substances called ferromagnetic materials. Ferromagnetism is when the electrons in a material align themselves with the outside magnetic field. This alignment makes the substance magnetic.
Ferromagnetic materials have different properties depending on how many electrons are lined up with the magnetic field. For example, some ferromagnetic materials are hard or soft. Hard ferromagnetic materials have fewer electrons lined up with the magnetic lines of force than soft ones.