Generators: An Overview of Their Functions and Applications

Where power outages continue to disrupt the daily lives of people around the world, a crucial piece of equipment that has gained immense importance is the generator. A generator, commonly known as a genset, is a portable device that converts mechanical energy into electrical power.

These machines are utilised in various settings, ranging from residential homes to industrial establishments, proving indispensable during unexpected power failures and in remote areas where electricity isn’t easy to acquire.

This article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of generators, their components, functionalities, and diverse applications.

Components of a Generator

  1. Engine

At the heart of every generator lies an internal combustion engine, responsible for converting chemical energy (fuel) into mechanical energy.

Here at PowerLink, our generators can be fitted with diesel, or gas-fuelled engines, depending on the purpose and availability of fuel, with these robust engines capable of ensuring a reliable power source for an extended period for our customers.

  1. Alternator

The second vital component is the alternator, which plays a crucial role in converting the mechanical energy generated by the engine into electrical energy.

The alternator consists of a rotor and a stator, along with copper wire windings that induce electromotive force (EMF), providing the desired voltage and frequency output, and adhering to local power grid requirements.

  1. Voltage Regulator

The voltage regulator serves as a stabilisation mechanism by regulating and maintaining a steady voltage output, which prevents potential damage to electronics resulting from voltage fluctuations, ensuring a reliable and consistent power supply.

  1. Cooling System

Generators produce a significant amount of heat during operation, therefore, an efficient cooling system, consisting of a radiator and cooling fans, is incorporated to maintain the temperature at an optimal level, which prevents overheating and guarantees the smooth performance of the engine, even during prolonged use.

  1. Control Panel

The control panel provides a user-friendly interface, facilitating monitoring and control of the generator functions, while also displaying critical parameters such as voltage, frequency, fuel level, and operating hours. It may also include additional features such as automatic start/stop, load sharing, and safety shutdown systems.

Different Types of Generators

There are several types of generators, each with its functions and uses. The type of generator that’s right for your power needs depends on several factors, such as the wattage required for the devices you want to power and the type of fuel that powers the generator.

Here are the three main types of generators:

Portable Generator

Portable generators are compact, lightweight, and designed for convenient use in various applications, and are primarily utilised for backup power during emergencies, camping, or outdoor events.

These sets offer relatively smaller power outputs ranging from a few hundred to several thousand watts, sufficient to power essential appliances, tools, or construction equipment.

Backup Generators

Backup generators are backup power sources that can start within seconds of a utility outage and are best suited as backup power for homes and large buildings such as hospitals and data centres.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators invert electricity to provide cleaner, safer power to your sensitive electronic equipment.

Most generators provide alternating current, which is ideal for powering equipment on construction sites, powering buildings and homes, etc., while direct current only provides current in one direction and is best suited for large-scale operations such as subway systems.

How Do Generators Work?

A generator is a combination of a prime mover (usually an engine) and an alternator. The engine converts the chemical energy of the fuel into mechanical energy, which is then used to spin the alternator rotor, converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy.

An alternator consists of two main parts: the rotor and the stator. The alternator rotor is rotated by the magnetic field between the rotor and stator, which generates a voltage on the alternator stator through the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction. When the voltage on the stator is connected to the load, current flows and the generator produces electricity.

Generators can run on many different fuel systems, such as diesel, natural gas, or solar. For diesel generators, the set will always run if there is fuel.

Benefits of Generators

The benefits of a well-built, industrial-quality genset are numerous, including:

  • Reliability
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Scalable design
  • Robust construction
  • Automatic or manual paralleling
  • Automatic loading control
  • Local or remote operation
  • Low emissions

Generators are an essential tool for many businesses and industries, as they provide reliable backup power, ensuring that essential operations can continue during power outages or limited access to the grid. In addition to providing reliable power, generators offer a wide range of benefits to businesses.

One of the main benefits of using a generator is increased productivity, as by having a backup power solution, businesses can avoid costly downtime and continue operating at full capacity. This is especially important for industries that rely heavily on technology and equipment that require constant power supply, such as data centres, hospitals, and manufacturing plants.

Another benefit is increased security. During a power outage, businesses may be at risk of theft or vandalism due to a lack of lighting and security systems. With a generator, businesses can ensure their security systems, surveillance cameras, and lighting stay operational, deterring potential intruders and protecting valuable assets.

Additionally, using a generator can improve your company’s reputation and customer satisfaction, as businesses that are prepared for emergencies and can continue to provide products or services during an outage are considered reliable and trustworthy, which in turn can increase customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Applications and Significance of Generators

Emergency Backup Power

One of the primary applications of generators is providing backup power during unexpected utility outages. These outages could be a result of natural disasters, electrical failures, or maintenance work.

Generators ensure the continuity of critical operations, preventing disruptions in healthcare facilities, commercial establishments, or residential complexes.

Remote Areas and Construction Sites

In remote areas where grid access is limited or non-existent, generators serve as a lifeline, providing a reliable power source for lighting, tools, machinery, and other essentials. Construction sites depend heavily on generators to power heavy machinery, power tools, and site offices, ensuring uninterrupted operations.

Agriculture and Farming

Generators are essential for agricultural purposes, especially on farms located in remote areas, providing aid in running irrigation systems, refrigeration units, milking machines, and other farm equipment. Gensets play a pivotal role in maintaining the productivity of farms, ensuring efficient operations, and reducing the impact of power fluctuations.


The uninterrupted functioning of telecommunications networks is crucial for seamless communication, and in areas prone to power outages or remote locations with limited grid access, generators provide a reliable power source, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity and communication.

Events and Outdoor Activities

Generators find widespread use during outdoor events, concerts, festivals, and camping trips as they provide power for lighting, audio systems, food trucks, and other equipment, enhancing the overall experience without reliance on the local power grid.


Generators have become an integral part of our lives, ensuring uninterrupted power supply in emergencies, remote areas, and a host of other situations, and as we continue to rely on electricity for nearly all aspects of our daily lives, the importance of generators will only increase further, providing us with a reliable backup power solution when we need it most.

Our generators are thoroughly inspected, tested, and verified, ensuring you are purchasing a quality generator you can trust. Thanks to our wide selection of generators, we are confident that we can find the model that best suits your operational needs.

If you would like to find out more about our diesel generators, contact our team today using the information below


Contact Number: +44 1977 689100


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