Difference WikiPhysics

Difference Between Motor and Generator

Main Difference

The main difference between Motor and Generator is that Motor helps in the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy, whereas Generator helps in the conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Motor vs. Generator

A motor is a machine that produces mechanical energy, whereas a generator is a machine that produces electrical energy. The primary means of mechanical energy in a motor is electrical energy. On the other hand, the source of electrical energy in a generator is mainly mechanical energy.

A motor consumes electricity for transforming electrical into mechanical energy. On the contrary, a generator does not use electricity for the production of electricity; instead, it uses mechanical energy for electricity production. A motor follows Fleming’s left-hand rule for its working, whereas a generator follows Fleming’s right-hand rule for its working.

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A motor comprises a shaft that rotates under the effect of a magnetic force that is developed between armature and field. On the flip side, a generator also consists of a shaft, which is attached to the rotor. The rotor is driven by mechanical force, not the magnetic force.

In the case of a motor, the current is delivered to the armature windings. Conversely, in the case of a generator, the current is not supplied, but it is developed in the armature windings. A motor works on the principle of a magnetic effect on the current-carrying conductor when it is placed in a magnetic field. On the flip side, a generator operates on the principle of electromagnetic conduction.

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The primary sources of energy in a motor are power girds and electrical supply. Conversely, the main sources of energy in a generator are steam turbines, water turbines, and internal combustion engines that provide mechanical energy.

Comparison Chart

MotorGenerator
A machine that works for the generation of electrical energy from mechanical energy is called a motor.A machine that functions for the production of electrical energy from mechanical energy is called a generator.
Electricity
RequiredProduced
Rule of Working
Fleming’s left-hand ruleFleming’s right-hand rule
Source of Energy
Power girds and electrical supplySteam turbines, water turbines, and internal combustion engine
Conversion
Electrical energy into mechanical energyMechanical energy into electrical energy
Current in Armature Windings
SuppliedProduced
Shaft Driven
By magnetic force that is developed between the armature and magnetic fieldBy mechanical force by its attachment to a rotor
Signification
EM or MG
Principle of Working
The mechanical force exerted on a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic fieldElectromagnetic conduction
Electrical Energy
In input formIn output form
Examples
Ceiling fans, cars, electric bikes, etcA generator is used to create electricity in power stations
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What is Motor?

A motor is described as an electro-mechanical machine that transfigures electrical energy into mechanical energy. The device, which produces rotational force, is referred to as a motor. A motor mainly works on the interaction of electrical and magnetic fields.

Types

  • AC Motor: The motors in which the source of power is AC mains supply are called AC motors. In AC motors, no commutators or brushes are used. AC motors have stationary armatures, and the magnetic fields are rotating to produce mechanical energy. AC motors have wide applications in large industries because they are not suitable for domestic applications.
  • DC Motor: The motors in which the source of power are batteries are called DC motors. In DC motors, commutators and brushes play an essential role in their operation. DC motors have a stationary magnetic field, and armatures are rotating for the production of mechanical energy. DC motors are not appropriate for large industries; instead, they are suitable for domestic applications.

Working

A motor consists of current-carrying conductors or loops that rotate continuously in a magnetic field. The loops are wrapped around the iron core called an armature, which functions to make the magnetic field inside of them stronger as compared to outside. The current is supplied to the motor either by AC or DC source depending on the type of motor.

The current in the loops reverses its direction resulting in a constant rotation of armature and the loops. The continuously changing direction of loops and armature produces mechanical energy.

What is the Generator?

A generator is an electro-mechanical machine that transfigures mechanical energy into an electrical form of energy. Electric generators are used due to their minimal loss of power, increased safety, and production of electricity.

Electric generators work as an alternative power source, and also function in protecting the whole electrical merchandise during the power outage. Electric generators have extensive presentations as Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) drive systems, aircraft auxiliary power generation, gust generators, motorized starter generators, and high-speed gas turbine generators.

Types

  • AC Generator: The generator, which produces AC electrical power, is called an AC generator. In AC generators, the current continues reversing its direction from time to time. AC generators use the slip rings so that they can have higher efficiency. They are used for small domestic applications.
  • DC Generator: The generator, which produces DC electrical power, is called a DC generator. In the DC generator, the current flows in a single direction without any change in direction. DC generators use the split rings so that they can wear out quickly. DC generators power large motors.

Working

The working of generators is different as compared to motors. Electric generators function to provide electricity. Mechanical energy is used to rotate the loops in the magnetic field that generated the electromotive force.

The generated electromotive force is a sine wave that changes with time. The shaft is attached to the rotor, which rotates continuously in the stationary magnetic field to produce electricity.

Key Differences

  1. A motor changes electrical energy into mechanical energy, whereas the generator changes mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  2. The motor uses electricity to produce mechanical energy. Conversely, a generator does not use electricity to produce electricity.
  3. The shaft of the motor is compelled by a magnetic force that is established between the armature and magnetic field. In contrast, the shaft of a generator is driven by a mechanical force that is developed by continuous rotation of the rotor.
  4. The current is delivered to the armature windings in a motor, whereas the current is produced in the armature windings of a generator.
  5. A motor follows Fleming’s left-hand rule for its proper functioning. Conversely, a generator follows Fleming’s right-hand rule.
  6. A motor works on the principle of magnetic effect on a current-carrying conductor placed in a magnetic field, while a generator works on the principle of electromagnetic induction.
  7. Electricity is required for the operation of a motor, whereas electricity is generated by the operation of a generator.
  8. The source of energy in a motor is power girds and electrical supply. In contrast, the sources of energy in a generator are condensation turbines, aquatic turbines, and internal ignition engines, etc.
  9. Motors have their application in vehicles, pulleys, and pumps. Conversely, generators are used in power stations, laboratories, general lighting, and powering of batteries, etc.

Conclusion

Motors use electricity to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, whereas generators don’t use electricity to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss