(877) 772-1009
Starters - Alternators - DC Motors
Vehicle Lighting Superstore - Liftgate Specialists
HD Air Conditioning Service Parts

DC Generators

Early motor vehicles until about the 1960s tended to use DC generators with electromechanical regulators. These have now been replaced by alternators with built-in rectifier circuits, which are less costly and lighter for equivalent output. Automotive alternators power the electrical systems on the vehicle and recharge the battery after starting. Rated output will typically be in the range 50-100 A at 12 V, depending on the designed electrical load within the vehicle. Some cars now have electrically-powered steering assistance and air conditioning, which places a high load on the electrical system. Large commercial vehicles are more likely to use 24 V to give sufficient power at the starter motor to turn over a large diesel engine. Vehicle alternators do not use permanent magnets and are typically only 50-60% efficient over a wide speed range. Motorcycle alternators often use permanent magnet stators made with rare earth magnets, since they can be made smaller and lighter than other types.