Difference Between Motor and Generator

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: August 10, 2022


Difference Between Motor and Generator Difference Between Motor and Generator

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The most typical device used to produce electricity for the majority of city power networks is a power generator. They are all around us, and their significance cannot be understated. One of the most important tools in modern life is the power generator. These devices transform mechanical energy into electrical energy, which can either be used immediately or stored in batteries. Let's examine various locations where the power generator continues to operate near where we live. Smaller versions of these devices are excellent backup power sources for homes or small enterprises in case of an emergency. Electric generators are frequently employed when a new construction site is formed before the power is installed. Huge diesel generators are frequently brought to building sites to power security, ventilation, water pumps, trailers, and other equipment. In construction, portable versions of power drills, grinders, table saws, and other instruments are employed. Motors are driven by generators; hence a city's traffic must be filled with running generators. Huge diesel generators are frequently brought to building sites to power security, ventilation, water pumps, trailers, and other equipment. In construction, portable versions of power drills, grinders, table saws, and other instruments are employed. Motors are driven by generators; hence a city's traffic must be filled with running generators.

Power blackouts do occur. These occurrences are common, and for them, a high-capacity standby backup generator keeps everything running. Generators are the preferred backup for offices and institutions in nations like India where power disruptions are prevalent. Commercial organisations and institutions ensure that a generator, or even more than one, is constantly available because their stakes are considerably higher. A functioning generator guarantees a nearly constant source of power. Hospitals are required to have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) generator since even a brief power outage can be fatal. Indian households choose inverter generators and UPSs because they are silent, start up immediately when the electricity goes out, and ensure an uninterrupted power supply. Mining regions are undeveloped places that rely on generators for power, much like construction sites do. Generators provide over 70% of the electricity utilised in the mining sector. Excavators, drills, shovels, and lighting systems are all powered by generators. Because they can provide electricity to rural and difficult-to-reach locations, generators are also widely used in agriculture and farming. Any size temporary gathering requires a temporary power source. Generators are useful in this situation as well and are employed to illuminate fairs, sporting events, carnivals, weddings, and festival gatherings.

Electricity is transformed into mechanical or kinetic energy by an electric motor, whereas electricity is transformed into mechanical or kinetic energy by an electric generator. How can we evaluate the differences between motors and generators? By contrasting them based on energy conversion, we may achieve this. Motors have a role in turning on the fan or the air conditioner and providing cool air throughout the heat. Generators make obtaining an electricity source during a power outage possible.

Motor vs. Generator

Two of the most common electrical devices utilised in an electrical system are motors and generators. A motor and a generator may have many distinctions, but they are almost identical in terms of structure. Energy conversion is the major distinction between a motor and a generator. A generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy instead of the other way around like a motor does.

Difference Between Motor and Generator in Tabular Form

Table: Motor vs. Generator

Parameters of Comparison



Fleming’s Rule It follows the Fleming left-hand rule. The Fleming right-hand rule is followed.
Types Electric motors come in two varieties: AC motors and DC motors. Electric generators come in two flavours: AC generators and DC generators.
Electricity It serves to generate mechanical force. Its purpose is to supply electricity.
Current Usage The armature winding of a motor receives the current. The armature winding of a generator produces the current.
Driving Force for Shaft A magnetic force that forms between the armature and field propels the shaft of an electric motor. An electric generator's shaft is attached to the rotor, which is propelled by a mechanical force.

What is Motor?

Michael Faraday introduced the uses and features of electricity in the early 1800s.  One of the most significant developments in science is the electric motor, sometimes known as a motor in general. Because of the development of motors, we can live the way we do today; otherwise, we would have to use electricity only to turn on a lightbulb. An apparatus that transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy is an electrical motor. An electrical motor is a tool for generating rotational energy, to put it simply.

Electric motors can be powered by alternating current (AC) sources like a power grid, inverters, or electrical generators or by direct current (DC) sources like batteries or rectifiers. Considerations including the type of power source, construction, application, and type of motion output can be used to categorise electric motors. They can be AC or DC powered, brushed or brushless, single-phase, two-phase, or three-phase, axial or radial flux, air-cooled or liquid-cooled, and can use any type of cooling system. For industrial applications, standardised motors offer practical mechanical power. The largest has an output of more than 100 megawatts and is used for pumped storage, pipeline compression, and ship propulsion.

Working of Motor

The principle behind how an electric motor works is that a conductor carrying current generates a magnetic field everywhere around it. To better comprehend, think about the situation below.

Keep two bar magnets' poles facing one another with very little space between them. Now, create a loop with a little piece of conducting wire. To ensure that this loop stays within the magnetic field's sphere of effect, keep it in the space between the magnets. This is the last part. The ends of the loop should be linked to the battery connections. You'll see that your loop "moves" if electricity is applied to your basic circuit. Why does this occur, then? The conductor's magnetic field is disrupted by the magnetic field created by the magnets. As a result of the loop becoming a magnet, one side of it will be drawn to the magnet's north pole and the other to its south pole. As a result, the cycle never ends. An electric motor operates based on the following.

Applications of Motor

Examples of uses include industrial fans, blowers, and pumps, machine tools, home appliances, power tools, cars, and disc drives. Small motors may be found in electric timepieces. In certain circumstances, such as regenerative braking with traction motors, electric motors can be used in reverse as generators to recover energy that might otherwise be lost as heat and friction. Torque, which is a rotary or linear force used to move an elevator or other external mechanism, is produced by electric motors. An electric motor's typical function is continuous rotation or linear motion over a considerable distance for its size. Although they have a limited range of motion, magnetic solenoids are another type of transducer that converts electrical power into mechanical motion.

Components of a Motor

The following components make up a basic motor:

  1. A power source for a basic motor that is primarily DC
  2. Electromagnet or a permanent magnet could be the field magnet.
  3. A rotor 
  4. Axle 
  5. Brushing 
  6. Commutator Armature or Rotor

Typically, a simple motor has a DC power source. It powers the motor armature or the field coils. Commutator refers to the rotating-stationary interaction of the armature coil. The magnetic field assists in creating a torque on the rotating armature coil thanks to Fleming's left-hand rule. The armature core gives the armature coil its mechanical stability and holding power. The motor is powered by the armature coil. A brush is a device that carries current between fixed wires and moving objects, most often the rotating shaft.

What is Generator?                                                  

Electrostatic generators were in use before the relationship between electricity and magnetism was discovered. These generators operated on electrostatic principles. Electrostatic generators were never used to generate economically significant amounts of electric power because of the following reasons:

  1. Due to the difficulty of insulating high-voltage equipment
  2. Because of the weak power rating

Due to the inefficiency of electrostatic generators, British scientist Michael Faraday invented the first electromagnetic generator, the Faraday disc, in 1831.

Any device that transforms mechanical energy into electricity for transmission and distribution via power lines to residential, commercial, and industrial users is known as an electric generator, sometimes known as a dynamo. Additionally, generators provide the electrical power needed for ships, trains, autos, and other vessels.

In most cases, a spinning shaft provides the mechanical power for an electric generator, which is determined by multiplying the shaft torque by the rotational, or angular, velocity. There are many ways to generate mechanical power, including hydraulic turbines at dams or waterfalls, wind turbines, steam turbines that use the heat from the combustion of fossil fuels or nuclear fission to produce steam, and gas turbines that burn gas inside the turbine, and gasoline and diesel engines. Depending on the properties of the mechanical prime mover, the generator's design and speed may vary greatly. Alternating current, which reverses polarity at a set frequency, is produced by almost all generators used to supply electric power networks (usually 50 or 60 cycles, or double reversals, per second). Since several generators are interconnected to form a power network, they all need to run at the same frequency to generate power simultaneously. Thus, they are also referred to as alternators or synchronous generators, depending on the situation.

Working of Generator

Electromagnetic induction is the basis for how electric generators operate. A magnet with horseshoe-shaped poles quickly rotates a conductor coil, which is a copper coil that has been tightly wound around a metal core. An armature is made up of a conductor coil and a core. The armature is rotated by a mechanical energy source, such as a motor, using a shaft connection. Engines that run on fuels like diesel, gasoline, natural gas, etc. or renewable energy sources like a wind turbine, water turbine, solar-powered turbine, etc. can supply the mechanical energy needed. The magnetic field that occurs between the magnet's two poles is disrupted when the coil rotates.

Generators don't produce their electricity; instead, they employ the mechanical energy that is supplied to them to push the flow of the electric charges that are present in the wire of their windings through an external electric circuit. The generator's output electric current is made up of this flow of electrons. The modern generators operate according to Michael Faraday's discovery of electromagnetic induction. He understood that moving an electrical wire in a magnetic field may produce the current flow described above. As a result of this movement, there is a voltage differential between the conductor's two ends, which induces the flow of electric charges and produces current.

Applications of Generator

For places like homes, businesses, and workplaces that experience frequent power outages, electric generators are useful. They serve as a fallback to guarantee that the appliances have an ongoing power supply.

Electric generators serve as the major source of power supply in remote places where connection to energy from the main line is not possible.

Electric generators can be used to power equipment or tools when working on construction sites when grid electricity is not available.

Components of a Generator

  1. The Structure, or The Frame
  2. The source of mechanical energy is an engine.
  3. The alternator converts mechanical input into electrical output.
  4. A fuel system is required to keep the generator running.
  5. A voltage regulator is used to control the output voltage.
  6. A cooling system is needed to control the heat that accumulates in the system.
  7. A lubrication system is necessary for long-lasting and smooth performance.
  8. Exhaust systems are used to eliminate waste exhaust gases generated throughout the operation.
  9. A charger is needed to keep the generator's battery charged.
  10. The control panel for the generator interface is known as the main control.

Difference Between Motor and Generator In Points

  1. The electricity is produced by the generator and used by the motor.
  2. The motor's shaft is propelled by the magnetic force produced between the armature and field windings, as opposed to the generator, where the shaft is connected to the rotor and pushed by mechanical force.
  3. In a generator, the armature windings generate the current, as opposed to a motor where the armature windings need to be supplied with current.
  4. The motor, in contrast to the generator, follows Fleming's right-hand rule.
  5. An electric vehicle or bicycle that receives an electric current and converts it into mechanical motion to propel the vehicle or bicycle is an example of a motor. An illustration of a generator is a turbine, which is used in power plants to convert mechanical energy from the force of the water pouring from a dam into electrical energy.


The stator and rotor are shared by both the generator and the motor, making their construction essentially the same. The main distinction between the two is that a motor is an electric device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The generator is the opposite of the motor. It converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Both the motor and the generator fall within the machine category. When compared to a generator, a motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. The major difference between a motor and a generator is this. The motor uses energy, while the generator produces it.



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"Difference Between Motor and Generator." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-motor-and-generator-799>.

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