Schottenbauer Publishing

Saturday, April 16, 2016

From Turbine to Power: Generator Magnets

Water and wind can be used to create electric power by turning a turbine containing a magnet. Adjacent to the turbine shaft, the generator contains a stationary wire. When the magnet in the turbine rotates, the electrons in the wire are pushed back and forth by the magnetic field, causing waves of alternating current (AC) in the wire.

Consider the following graph, excerpted from the book series Electricity & Magnetism, available from Schottenbauer Publishing.

Discussion Questions
  1. Is the field of a bar magnet similar to the horseshoe magnet above? Why or why not?
  2. Is it more efficient to use a bar magnet or a horseshoe magnet in a generator? Explain.
  3. Is it preferable in a generator to use a magnet with high magnetic field or low magnetic field? Explain.

Over 8,000 graphs from Schottenbauer Publishing provide additional real-life topics for student learning, including sports, transportation, construction, environment, music, entertainment/toys, and general physics. 

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