What Does An Alternator Regulator Do?
It supplies current to the rotating part of the alternator.
Simple alternators are originally electromechanical devices that switched the field current on and off to control the output voltage of a regulator.
Today’s alternator regulators are semiconductor based and the most sophisticated are controlled by embedded computer chips, and they are all externally mounted.
The Voltage Regulator:
It limits the maximum voltage in the electrical system.
- With regulators for the alternator system, voltage limiting is the means of controlling output.
- If the alternator was allowed to constantly produce all the power it could, system voltage would rise to a damaging level, the battery would overcharge, components would be damaged, and the alternator would soon overheat and burn out.
- Electronic voltage regulators have replaced the old vibrating point type regulator, and electronic regulators react even faster.
- With a modern electronic voltage regulator, the voltage at the system will be very consistent.
The battery serves as a big cushion in the system, which also smoothes out voltage levels. The battery prevents major and sudden voltage changes in the system.
It handles several jobs. Its first job is to distribute the high voltage from the coil to the correct cylinder.
- The distributor is the component that transfers the voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. The distributor is driven by the engine's camshaft.
Modern Ignition Systems:
Newer ignition systems do not have distributors. They have multiple ignition coils, each dedicated to a spark plug or one ignition coil for two spark plugs. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) controls the ignition system.
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