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Let There Be Light

August 20, 2021

There’s a Keystone in every great invention

Electrical Generators and Their Electronics

From the caveman’s fire to Edison’s light bulb, the generation of light and energy have been staples in the development and advancement of mankind. Power grids have expanded well beyond skyscrapers and city blocks, bringing light and heat to even the most rural of areas. More and more mom & pop shops and corporate business are being operated behind a kitchen table rather than the typical brick and mortar office space.  There is a comfort knowing that wherever we go, wherever we settle, the access to power and energy is nearly infinite, and the technology at the forefront of this progress is none other than the electrical generator. 

From powering automobiles and larger transportation vessels, to providing portable electricity and power domestically and commercially, the development of the electrical generator has not just provided the world with the energy it needs, but also with the efficiency it requires. 




From Dynamos to Electrical Generators

The earliest form of the electrical generator came way of the dynamo in 1830. Michael Farady, an English physicist and chemist, created the dynamo as a way of turning mechanical energy into a direct current of electricity. Through electromagnetism, Farady was able to generate waves of alternating power and turn them into a single direct current (DC Power). For example, bicycle lamps could now be powered by installing a dynamo against the bike tire. As the tire spun, the ribbed cylinder dynamo would rotate, thus drawing power from the pedaling of the bicycle to produce light.

By 1869, the dynamo still wasn’t efficient or reliable enough to displace the use of steam or batteries in factories and industrial workplaces. The invention of the first high-voltage, direct-current generator by Zénobe Théophile increased power and produced a steady electrical current by combining electrical and mechanical power. This allowed for mass production of cheap electricity and enough reliability to service industrial workloads. This proved that electricity could significantly impact daily life, and in later years, power the industrial revolution. 

Generators on the Go Today

Today’s electrical generators don’t venture too far from that of Gramme. The base concept remains the same: combine mechanical and electrical energy into useable power. The biggest innovation generators offer today is the portability aspect. Homeowners no longer need to worry about heavy storms or maintenance mistakes causing untimely power outages.

Engines, fuel tanks and batteries have been manufactured to a small scale in order to add power, efficiency and availability to the generator market. Adding smaller components like starters have allowed for a generator that not only can be easily carried and stored, but one that can be turned on and started as quickly as a car.   Modern  generators utilize many  Keystone products, such as Fuse Clips, Contacts & HoldersSpacers & StandoffsHandles and Multi-Purpose Hardware.