The alternator is one of the most important parts of your car, since it’s the part that generates electricity to keep your battery charged as you drive. If you’ve ever wondered how they do this, we here at Larry Jay Mitsubishi have created a brief guide on how alternators work.
Alternators contain several parts, including a rotor, a stator, a rectifier assembly, and a set of brushes that maintain contact with the rotor, all of which are housed inside an aluminum casing. There’s also a pulley outside the casing.
The word alternator comes from the phrase alternating current. The rotor and stator work together to produce electromagnetic power, which is then sent to the battery. The engine rotates the alternator pulley, which causes the rotor to spin past wire coils that are part of the stator. This produces alternating currents in the rotor and stator. The electricity from this is funneled through stator leads to the rectifier diodes, which send the current in the proper direction.
Alternators also require a voltage regulator that determines the amount of voltage that goes into the engine, since too much can damage it. This isn’t everything there is to know about the alternator, so read up if you’re interested!