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DC generator woes: Why won't it generate?

  • October 2006
  • Number of views: 489
  • Article rating: No rating

Cyndi Nyberg 
Former EASA Technical Support Specialist 

There are a number of different types of DC generators: shunt, series and compound, each of which can be separately or self-excited. A DC generator is built and designed exactly the same as a DC motor, and can be run as such. Regardless of the type, there are a number of reasons why a generator won’t produce the correct voltage, or any voltage at all. 

Let’s start with the basics of how a DC generator works. When the armature is rotated, the magnetism from the fields produces a voltage in the armature. If the generator is self-excited, then the small voltage produced in the armature in turn is supplied back to the fields, which induces current in the fields. 

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