Alternating-current (AC) and direct-current (DC) generators (top and bottom, respectively). The …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Machine that converts mechanical energy to electricity for transmission and distribution over power lines to domestic, commercial, and industrial customers. Generators also produce the electric power required for automobiles, aircraft, ships, and trains. The mechanical power for an electric generator is usually obtained from a rotating shaft and is equal to the shaft torque multiplied by the rotational, or angular, velocity (speed). The mechanical power may come from various sources: turbines powered by water, wind, steam, or gas; gasoline engines; or diesel engines.

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