First and foremost, an alternator is the life support of your entire vehicle's electrical system. Having been bestowed with such task, it's important we take a closer look into this very important device.
The importance of an alternator
You will be surprised to learn of the number of devices on your vehicle that uses electricity. Before now, belts used to sap much needed energy from a vehicle's engine crankshaft which it uses to run different ancillary components. However, vehicle manufacturers like Mercedes are looking at using bigger battery packs to power the ancillaries. But that would mean big batteries of up to 48V units. But even with a bigger battery, the battery will not keep itself running and still needs the help of an alternator.
In simple terms, alternators work by taking the mechanical rotating energy that is coming from the power train which it converts to electromotive force. An electrical supply is then provided for the battery so as to keep it running while it is loaded.
The absence of an alternator means that your vehicle's battery will first use up large voltage in just starting the vehicle and will spend no time in draining up the remaining voltage output which will result in your car halting due to no electricity supply.
How it works
An alternator is usually found by the side of your engine block. It starts with a pulley which runs in-tandem through the serpentine belt and the crankshaft rotation takes some energy from the internal combustion of the engine output. This connection through the belt is what gives the alternator mechanical rotational energy needed to provide the vehicle's energy needs.
While the pulley is spinning, it spins some input shaft to where the alternator is housed so that it can spin a rotor. A rotor is that rotating magnet that is found in a chamber which surrounds the station, as well as a set of coils that is tied around a core (iron) which is used to generate electricity. While the rotor is spinning, the pole's negative and positive magnet forms a magnetic field that also spins energy to the stator coils for an alternating current (AC) voltage.
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The work of a regulator
To protect the battery from being overloaded due to the need for steady voltage supply when in motion, you will need voltage regulator. The regulator can transform the flow with the help of stator coils to provide the right amount of energy the battery needs. The work of the voltage regulator is to maintain a balance when the current flow that goes through the stator is going lower or higher.
The alternator's final stage
The last stage involves using diodes which can be found inside a rectifier. Every car battery requires a DC voltage used in supplying the car's electrical parts with energy. This means that the electricity the alternator produces will have to change its state. The voltage from a DC flows towards one direction, while that of AC occasionally changes direction. This makes for higher voltage generation that today's vehicle's needs.
Serpentine belt is what is used in powering most ancillary parts that can be found in front of the alternator and engine block. After the creation of the AC voltage, the stator supplies the diodes which then acts like a one-way electricity system and then converts it to DC voltage supply. When this is in place, the battery can then supply electricity power to the door locks, ignition, headlights, instrument binnacle and a whole others.
Things that can go wrong with an alternator
Your vehicle's alternator can develop fault, drain your battery life, and leave you with a vehicle that just won't start. The presence of electromotive force and electric field inside the alternator gradually creates huge amount of heat. And when the various parts inside has gone through a cycle of heat after each drive, there will be an unavoidable degradation of the materials, which makes the alternator less effective.
However, today's alternator come with in-built cooling fans that can be found on the rear and front of the alternator and works together with the spin rotor to produce cooling airflow. That is why recent alternators tend to last longer than older versions that only had one external fan. You will also find higher output alternators in modern vehicles which in turn produce a higher voltage throughout a drive and while idle so that it can handle such tasks like your vehicle's headlights and sound system. Remember, if you are interested in getting cheap alternator miami, rebuilt alternator shop miami or just miami alternator for my car/truck, you can always count on R and Y Alternators and Starters to deliver.
Combustion grime and dirt that gets into the engine bay can gum up the alternator with a lot of crap. This is the reason the needle bearing which can be found in front of the rotor won't be able to allow the input shaft spin freely. And when there is a huge build up of grime and dirt, the rotor will have a hard time creating the needed magnetic field that is needed to produce the necessary electrical output. If this continues, the bearing will seize resulting in the slow dying of your battery until your vehicle won't start.
Why you shouldn't drive with a faulty alternator
A faulty alternator can reduce the life of your battery, or cause it to charge high and then decrease again and again to the point where it can no longer hold electrical power. Usually, a good battery that is supported by an alternator in good working condition can take you up to 4 years of constant or daily use. But a dirty alternator can reduce this time frame.
Why is an alternator important?
As already stated, an alternator is a major part of your vehicle makeup. Without an alternator, most vehicles will not be able to function. Although hybrid vehicles might not necessarily need an alternator or a starter, the huge number of vehicles on the road today cannot do without them. And when you are looking for miami alternator for my car/truck, don't forget to contact R and Y Alternators and Starters.