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Powermate Generator Glossary

Generator Glossary

  • Alternating Current (AC)-Voltage that increases to a maximum positive (+) and falls back to zero and then continues to a maximum negative (-) and back to zero. This cycle is repeated 60 times for 60 hertz AC power.
  • Amperage-The strength of an electric current measured by amperes.
  • Amp-A measure of electric current flow. One ampere (amp) will flow when one volt is applied across a resistance of one ohm.
  • Cast iron sleeve-a cylinder cast into the engine, producing a harder surface between the aluminum engine block and steel piston rings, extending the life of the engine.
  • Circuit breaker-A thermal switch that turns off if too much current is passing through it. All receptacles on Powermate generators are circuit breaker protected.
  • Continuous Load-The load at which the generator is capable of maintaining for an extended period of time, assuming that the engine has been maintained.
  • C.S.A.-Canadian Standards Association. Indicates that the products that have this marking have been manufactured, tested, and inspected to standards that are set by C.S.A.
  • Direct Current (DC)-An electric current flowing in one direction only. DC is produced by chemical action (e.g., a storage battery) or by electromagnetic induction.
  • Duplex receptacle-Two 120 volt receptacles that are tied together. Similar to the outlets you have in your house.
  • Electronic ignition-A solid state ignition system with no moving parts, ensuring reliable timing or firing to the spark plug.
  • Endbell-The end cap of the generator section. It houses the brushes, rotor bearing and in some cases receptacles.
  • Frequency-The number of vibrations or cycles per unit of time. More specifically, the numbers of cycles per second of an alternating current. See hertz.
  • Full Power-A term which denotes that the rated power of the generator can be drawn from a particular branch circuit.
  • Full pressure lubrication-A feature found on premium engines, utilizing an oil pump and filter, to supply oil directly to the internal components of the engine, increasing the engine’s life.
  • Generator-A general name for a device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. The electrical energy may be direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). An AC generator may be called an alternator.
  • GFCI-Ground fault current interrupter. A device which senses current flow in milliamp range from the line conductors in a power circuit to ground conductor and activate a relay to open both line conductors.
  • Ground-A connection, either intentional or accidental, between an electric circuit and the earth or some conducting body serving in place of the earth.
  • Hertz-A unit representing the measurement of one cycle per second.
  • Idle Control-A device to reduce the engine speed when a generator set is not being operated under load. An idler conserves fuel, reduces the noise, and saves wear and tear on the engine.
  • Low oil shutdown-A feature designed to shut off the engine if it runs low on oil, preventing serious damage or failure.
  • Ohm-Unit of electrical resistance. One volt will cause a current on one ampere to flow through a resistance of one ohm.
  • Ohm's Law-The law that states the intensity (amperage) of an electrical current is directly proportional to the electromotive force (voltage) and inversely proportional to the resistance (ohms). (Amps = Volts/Ohms) or (1 = E/R). Also displayed as Watts = Volts x Amps.
  • OHV-Overhead valve. An engine design with the valves placed above the piston in the head, instead of to the side of the piston in the engine block.
  • Phase-The number of complete voltage and/or current sine waves generated per 360 electrical degrees. Each phase requires a complete set of windings.
  • Rated Power-The net electric output a generator can provide continuously when functioning is designed. If the set is equipped with additional power producing devices, then the stated or guaranteed net electric power must take into consideration that the auxiliaries are delivering their respective state or guaranteed net output simultaneously, unless otherwise agreed to. See efficiency.
  • Rotor-The rotating element of a motor or generator.
  • RPM-Revolutions per minute.
  • Short Circuit-Generally an unintentional electrical contact between the current carrying outputs resulting in the passage of current through an undesirable path.
  • Single Phase-A single-phase alternating current system has a single voltage in which voltage reversals occur at the same time and are of the same alternating polarity through the system.
  • Spark Arrester-A screen that covers the outlet of the muffler to stop sparks from exiting. Spark arresters are required for use by the U.S. Forest Services in national parks and the State of California.
  • Stator-The stationary part of a generator or motor.
  • Surge Power-The load, in excess of rated load, that the generator set is capable of delivering for a specified period of time. It should be recognized that the voltage frequency and operating temperatures might differ from normal rated values.
  • Three Phase-Three complete, separate sine waves spaced 120 electrical degrees apart.
  • Transfer Switch-A device which will switch a load from the main utility power source to a standby power source.
  • Twistlock-A receptacle or plug that has a mechanism for locking it in place to prevent accidental removal.
  • U.L.-Underwriters Laboratory. Indicates that the products that have this marking have been manufactured, tested, and inspected to standards that are set by U.L.
  • Universal Motor-An electrical motor which can be used on either AC or DC supply.
  • Utility Line-The wire provided and owned by a utility company which can carry a power supply.
  • Vibration isolators-Rubber pads mounted between the engine/stator and the frame of the generator. They are designed to minimize the vibrations produced by the engine.
  • Volt-The unit of electromotive force. That electromotive force which, when steadily applied to a conductor whose resistance is one ohm, will produce a current of one ampere.
  • Voltage-Electrical potential or potential difference expressed in volts.
  • Watt-Unit of electric power. In direct current, watts = volts x amperes. In alternating current, watt = effective amps x power factor x a constant dependent on the number of phases (1,000 watts = 1 kilowatt).
  • Winding-All the coils of a generator. Stator winding consists of a number of stator coils and their interconnections. Rotor windings consist of all windings and connections of the rotor poles

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