Alternator Voltage Regulator

The battery is central feature of the electrical system in automobiles. However, the battery must be re-charged because it constantly loses it’s charge while it is operating. That is the purpose for the alternator. The battery will maintain a full charge constantly because the alternator produces electricity which it deliver to the battery. The voltage must be high enough, but, not too high because it could ruin the battery in a short time. The voltage regulator has the duty of keeping the voltage of the alternator in the correct range of 13.5 to 14.5 volts.

Electromagnetic induction is used by the alternator to produce both current and voltage. The alternator has four main parts which include the rotor, stator, diode pack, voltage regulator and indicator light. It is necessary for all of these parts to perform properly in order for the alternator to produce electricity.

The rotor consist of a rotary magnet which turns inside many copper wire loops wound on an iron core. Voltage is produced as the rotor spins and the copper wire cuts through the magnetic lines of force. This voltage goes to the battery.

The diode pack converts the voltage from AC to DC so that the automobile can use it. Usually, a diode pack usually has four diodes. The indicator light will also be controlled by the diode pack.

The voltage regulator controls or regulates the voltage so that a steady stream is output to the battery. As the name implies, it regulates the voltage going to the battery. This is done by controlling the field terminal of the alternator. A low voltage allows the production of more electricity, a high voltage sends more output of electricity.

The amperage output of the alternator returns to the battery to charge it. Added loads of using electrical accessories causes more amperage to charge the battery for the added load.

The alternator of today is a reliable device. Owners of new alternators should expect a life of seven – ten years. However, electrical systems in cars should be checked at least every 30,000 miles. This will reduce the chances of a dead battery incident.