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Old 03-13-2007, 03:45 PM   #1
Rusty73
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Question Question about alternators

Hi there, silly question probably, but does a car alternator charge in DC or AC? My guess is AC since it is called an alternator, can anyone help me out?
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:00 PM   #2
azkid110
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Hmm, well the battery (all batteries) is DC, and the power you get in the car, is DC and the power that runs the motor (sparkplugs, sensors, and other stuff), is DC. So my guess is, it's DC. If you are trying to make a generator out of an alternator, they make power inverters (or power converters I forget the name) which change DC power into AC power, they are usually used for blending up smoothies on the side of the road etc, using AC devices.
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Old 03-13-2007, 07:29 PM   #3
67Coronet383
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Way back they used to output DC. They called them generators (well that's what they are, aren't they). That's been a long time back. A car's generator now outputs AC - alternating current. Therefor, they call them alternators. Now notice I said outputs. Both AC and DC generators generate Alternating current. The difference for output is a DC generators use a commutator and an AC generator uses diodes.
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:21 PM   #4
Wally
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A DC generator generates an elevated voltage wave above the reference. An AC generator (alternator) generates a voltage that swings around the reference.

A car alternator is fitted/mated with a bridge rectifier to only allow a DC current to flow to the car electrics.
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:54 AM   #5
Rusty73
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Exclamation So therefore!

So this means if I connect an alternator (powered by wind or hydro) to a 12v battery it will charge it without the need for some other device to convert AC to DC?
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