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Explain the underlying principle and working of an electric generator by drawing a labelled diagram. What is the function of brushes?

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Principle: In an electric generator, mechanical energy is used to rotate a conductor in a magnetic field to produce electricity. It is working on the principle of electromagnetic induction.

Working: When the Axle attached to the two rings is rotated such that the arm AB moves up (and the arm CD moves down) in the magnetic field produced by the permanent magnet. Let us say the coil ABCD is rotated clockwise in the arrangement. By applying Fleming’s right hand rule, the induced currents are set up in these arms along the directions AB and CD. Thus an induced current flows in the direction ABCD. If there are larger number of turns in the coil, the current generated in each turn adds up to give a large current through the coil. This means that the current in the external circuit flows from B2 and B1.

After half a rotation, arm CD starts moving up and AB moving down. As a result, the directions of the induced currents in both the arms change, giving rise to the net induced current in the direction DCBA. The current in the external circuit now flows from B1 to B2. Thus after every half rotation the polarity of the current in the respective arms changes.

There are two brushes and in the electric generator, one brush is at all times in contact with the arm moving up in the field, while the other is in contact with the arm moving down. Because of these Brushes unidirectional current is produced.

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