Revolutionizing the generation of electricity, dynamos are now used worldwide to power cars, planes and ships!
A dynamo electric generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. It rotates coils of metal wire (the mechanical energy) within a magnetic field to force the field to push on the electrons in the metal and vary its flux (amount of field passing through the coils).
This, as according to Faraday’s law – the induced electromotive force in any closed circuit is equal to the time rate of change of the magnetic flux through the circuit – causes the induction of electric current (electrical energy).
Therefore, dynamos have three main components – the stator, armature and commutator. The stator is a stationary structural frame that provides the dynamo’s constant magnetic field, while the armature is the dynamo’s central set of wire windings that are rotated by mechanical energy.
The commutator is a rotary electric switch that is mounted to the armature’s central shaft and reverses the electrical potential within the wire with each half turn of the armature, to convert alternating current into direct current.
Today, direct current dynamos are rarely used, due to the worldwide dominance of alternating current and its ease of conversion using solidstate materials.