What is the difference between an electric motor and an electric generator?

Answer 1

In terms of energy transfer

  • Electric motor: Electrical → Mechanical
  • Electric Generator: Mechanical → Electrical

Despite having different purposes, a motor and generator share the same basic structure: a coil placed on an axis inside of a magnetic field.

To generate rotational motion from an electrical supply, an electric motor uses a coil that receives an electric current. The coil then generates a magnetic field that interacts with the preexisting magnetic field, causing the coil to rotate. (For further information on magnetic forces acting on current-carrying conductors, see this lesson.)

⇒ Electrical energy is the motor's input energy, and mechanical energy is its useful output energy.

In a generator, the rotation causes the coil to rotate inside the magnetic field,* inducing an alternating current in the coil. This is how an electric current is produced from rotational motion (on large-scale power plants, this rotation is provided by a turbine).

⇒ Mechanical energy is the generator's input, and electrical energy is its useful output.

*The magnet in power plants is usually attached to the axel and rotated, with the coils encircling it. The outcome remains the same, though.

Sign up to view the whole answer

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Sign up with email
Answer 2

An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy to produce motion, while an electric generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by inducing an electric current through electromagnetic induction. In simpler terms, an electric motor makes things move using electricity, while an electric generator produces electricity using motion.

Sign up to view the whole answer

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Sign up with email
Answer from HIX Tutor

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

When evaluating a one-sided limit, you need to be careful when a quantity is approaching zero since its sign is different depending on which way it is approaching zero from. Let us look at some examples.

Not the question you need?

Drag image here or click to upload

Or press Ctrl + V to paste
Answer Background
HIX Tutor
Solve ANY homework problem with a smart AI
  • 98% accuracy study help
  • Covers math, physics, chemistry, biology, and more
  • Step-by-step, in-depth guides
  • Readily available 24/7