Difference Between Dynamo and Generator

Dynamo vs Generator

For those who belong to the older generation, this is like comparing a black and white with a modern day LCD or LED television. Really, when dynamo was invented by Michael Faraday in 1813, it was like a miracle as it helped in producing electricity. Dynamo became a backbone of the industry as it supplied power in years to come. Generators, which produce alternating current that is used in entire world as a source of power today, are dynamos of today. There are many similarities between dynamos of yester years and generators of today, though they are also very much different from each other. These differences will be highlighted in this article.

If you have studied electricity and the devices that have been used since the start, you would know that dynamos were the first generators to produce electricity. But this was direct current as against alternating current, which is the standard today, and even DC was created using commutators. The electric motor that we see today, the alternator, and the rotary converter, all these devices are a result of improvements and various experiments done on the dynamos of earlier days. Dynamos that people saw commonly were the ones fitted on their bicycles, and used the mechanical energy of rotating wheels to produce current light up a small electric bulb.

So, it can be said that any device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy using electromagnetic induction is a generator. In this sense, a dynamo is also a generator, though it would be incorrect to call a generator, a dynamo.

The integral parts of a dynamo are a stator and an armature. While the stator is stationary and provides constant magnetic field, the armature is a set of rotating windings that move in the magnetic field. These moving wires in the magnetic field produce a force on the electrons in the metal, resulting in an electric current. A set of commutators are used to convert the electric current produced into direct current. This means that dynamos were meant to be used as a replacement for batteries in early times. Later, with the invention of alternating current and devices and appliance made to run on this current, dynamos slowly went out of favor and are rarely used today.

In brief:

Difference Between Dynamo and Generator

• Dynamo is said to be a precursor of modern day electric generators

• Dynamos produced direct current, while generators produce electric current

• Dynamos made use of commutators to convert alternating current into direct current as they were meant to produce power as a replacement of batteries

• Generators make us of solid state electronic AC to DC conversion instead of commutators.

• Generators are used all over the world today with dynamos being a device of the past

• Dynamos are still used in applications where low power DC is required