5 Main Differences Between a Generator and an Alternator


A generator and an alternator usually come up in a discussion on the production and conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy. If you are experiencing a power outage in your home, a generator can help provide your home or business with power. After taking your car to the repair shop, you may have heard your mechanic talk about an alternator.

Both devices are important, each playing an important role at home or in your business. If you are not familiar with the two terms, you might confuse one for the other, hence the need to read this high output alternators guide. To make it easy for you to remember, here are five main differences between a generator and an alternator. 


A generator converts mechanical energy into AC or DC electrical energy, while on the other hand, an alternator only converts mechanical energy into AC electrical energy. A generator is usually used to power houses, power tools on a construction site, or provide power to various electrical appliances. On the other hand, an alternator is used in cars to recharge the battery, among other functions. 


You can find generators of different sizes, from the smallest portable generator to large stationary generators. The larger the generator, the more mechanical energy it can convert. Alternators are relatively smaller than generators since the manufacturers want them to fit in your car easily. 


An alternator cannot charge a completely drained battery even if it is a high output alternator. It might even burn up your car’s battery; hence, reading a high output alternators guide is important. Generators can charge a completely drained battery without any problems. 

Rotating and Stationary Parts

The rotating part is the armature in a generator, while it is the magnetic field in an alternator. The stationary part of a generator is the surrounding magnetic field, while it is the armature in an alternator. 


The brushes usually last longer on an alternator with brushes because the armature does not move. Not all alternators have brushes; you can check the high output alternators guide before deciding whether to use a brush or brushless alternators. The brushes on a generator will wear due to friction because of the rotating armature.

A Generator Is Different To an Alternator

Electricity is an important part of our lives, and most of the items we use in our daily routines will not work without electricity. If you are experiencing a rolling blackout in your home or business, getting a generator can help you supply power to your home or your business when there is a blackout. An alternator plays a huge role in your car, and where it is, you will not be able to drive a long distance before the battery is empty.