Alternators are the types of generators used in cars. An alternator is the part of a car electrical system that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. It ensures that there is enough power to keep the battery fully charged and for other electrical uses in the car. Most cars have alternators, in fact, unless your Porsche is a hybrid, then it has an alternator.
Location Of The Alternator
The alternator is located near the engine along the serpentine belt. Most Porsche alternators located directly in front of the fan so as it receives maximum cooling
Components Of The Alternator
Although its function makes it sound like a complex machine, an alternator is a fairly simple machine made of a few components;
Diode rectifier/ Diode bridges
Diode rectifiers are devices that only allow electrical current to flow in one direction. In an alternator, these devices are responsible for the conversion of alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). Most porches have six diode rectifiers.
The stator is the stationary part of an alternator. It is composed of a set of coils, three, surrounding the rotor. It is involved in electrical energy generation. As the rotor turns, it creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field produces an electrical current within the three coils. The stator is connected to the diode rectifier via three leads.
This is an assembly of parts that are responsible for the generation of a magnetic field. These parts include:
- Iron core: This is the part around which the stator coil wind
- Finger poles: These are positively and negatively charged poles that are located in alternating fashion around the iron core. When the rotor rotates, these alternating poles generate a magnetic field.
- Cooling fan: ensures that the rotor does not overheat
- Slip rings: These are the rings responsible for directing the current to the stator windings.
- Bearings: Enhance the movement of the other parts of the rotor
Most Porsche alternators have five terminals:
- S-Terminal: This terminal senses the voltage from the battery
- L-Terminal: This is the terminal that controls the warning lamp
- B-Terminal: This terminal serves as an output terminal
- IG-Terminal: This terminal controls the voltage regulator
- F-Terminal: This terminal bypasses the voltage regulator
The voltage regulator ensures that the amount of voltage reaching the battery is just enough. It simply dictates how much voltage the alternator generates.
How The Alternator Works
This is all you need to know about how a Porsche alternator works
The serpentine belt drives the alternator. When the rotor starts to spin the finger poles generate a magnetic field. In the windings of the stator, the magnetic field produces electrical current. This electrical current is in the AC form. The AC moves via the three leads to the diode rectifiers. Due to their electrical properties, the diode rectifiers convert the alternating current to direct current.