What are Generator Components and How Do They Work?

Generators are machines that provide power continuity in power outages or as the direct source of power where there is no grid power by transforming mechanical energy into electrical energy. An alternating current is produced by the rotating movement created by an internal combustion engine that acts upon the alternator.


The engine is the main component that determines the power. Generator engines that run on fuels such as diesel or natural gas are generally preferred. As the engine turns, various parts transform the mechanical energy into electrical energy.

The size of the engine determines the amount of electricity a generator can produce. Engines with low fuel consumption perform efficiently by providing the right speed and setup. Moreover, they can be fitted with fuel pumps and mechanical or electronic type regulators. This is to ensure the stable and safe operation of generator components and other generator parts.


The alternator component of a generator, transforms the mechanical energy from the engine into electrical energy. The alternator is connected to the engine crank shaft with a heavy-duty belt.

As the engine turns, it moves the disk and turns the rotor shaft. This rotor is actually a magnet and the field it creates reaches a conductive circuit called the stator. These components work together to create alternating current.

The alternator is usually made up of fixed and mobile parts fitted inside a casing and these parts create a relative movement between the magnetic and electrical fields to produce electricity. This system ensures that the generator components provide a safe and continuous electrical current.


It is critical that the high heat produced in the engine is cooled off to ensure that mechanical generator parts and users are protected. The radiator stabilizes the engine heat through a ventilator system that pumps air cooled by the engine coolant liquid into the system.

Radiators enable your generator to operate within the specified thermal limits, thus preventing overheating. If the the system is working properly, it will stop the engine from overheating.

Chassis – Fuel Tank

The fuel tank is the component that feeds the generator with fuel such as natural gas, diesel or gasoline and usually rests inside the chassis. The chassis is made of steel to carry the load of the generator set, with special durability among other features. The rigid structure dampens vibrations and the shock-absorbing mounts help to further lower vibration levels.

Generator sets up to a certain power usually have a fuel tank integrated into the chassis. However, for larger gensets a separate rectangular fuel tank is provided. All fuel tanks should come with level-gauges to monitor fuel levels.

Automatic Voltage Regulator

This is a control device that monitors the output voltage and frequency of the generator. This ensures that the generator is producing stable and consistent electricity. It is generally fitted inside the alternator.

Control Panel

This is a panel used to monitor and control the operating parameters of the generator components. This panel is used for tasks such as monitoring the operation of generator components, checking fuel levels and to open or close the generator switch.


The canopy is used to provide sound insulation for the generator, to insulate magnetic fields created inside or to protect the generator from harsh environmental conditions.

These components all come together so the generator produces electrical energy and create the transformation of energy according to their various functions.