Key Differences Between Generator And Motor

Every one of us is commonly aware of the words motor and generator. But few of us know the difference between these two electrical devices. A motor or generator is one of the most widely utilized electrical devices in an electrical system. Although a motor and a generator may differ, their structure is quite similar. A generator does the reverse of what a motor does, transforming electrical energy into mechanical energy.

In this article, we will discuss the functions of motors or generators and the key differences between them. So keep up with us and continue reading.

What is a Motor?

“An electrical machine known as a motor transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy.”

Both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) sources, including power grids, inverters, and electrical generators, are used to power electric motors. DC sources include batteries, motor vehicles, and rectifiers.

What is a Motor

Working Principle

The core principle of how most electric motors work is the interaction between the magnetic field of the motor and the electric current flowing through a wire winding. This interaction produces force in the form of torque that is applied to the motor shaft.


Electric motors are so crucial to modern life that they have an effect on practically all aspects of it. Electric motors are used in a variety of goods and gadgets, including refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, fans, computers, hard drives, automated automobile windows, and many more, to transform electrical energy into usable mechanical energy.

Components of Motor

The following are the components of the motor:

  • Rotor armature
  • Axle
  • Field Magnet

What is Generator?

“By using a reversed power flow, a generator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy.”

It’s critical to realize that a generator doesn’t really “produce” electricity. Instead, it forces the electric charges existing in the wire of its windings via an external electric circuit using the mechanical energy provided to it.

What is Generator

Working Principle

The output electric current that the generator provides is made up of this flow of electric charges. By comparing the generator to a water pump, which induces the water’s flow but does not truly “make” the water flow through it, one can better understand how this mechanism works.

Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831-32, and this is the basis on which the contemporary generator operates. Faraday observed that rotating an electrical conductor, such as a wire that contains electric charges, in a magnetic field might generate the flow of electric charges mentioned above. Due to the voltage differential that is produced between the wire’s two ends as a result of this movement, an electric current is produced.


Generators are one of the most important devices when there is a long power outage. The generator provides electricity to your home, RV, or business places. So the importance of generators in our daily life cant be neglected.


  • Engine
  • Alternator
  • Fuel System
  • Voltage Regulator
  • Cooling and Exhaust Systems
  • Lubrication System
  • Battery Charger
  • Control Panel
  • Main Assembly / Frame

Difference between Motor and Generator

Features Motor Generator
Definition An electric mechanism known as a motor transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy. An electrical device known as a generator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Power supply They can be powered by both AC (alternating current) from inverters or generators and DC (direct current) from batteries or rectifiers. Gas-water turbines, combustion energy, and manual cranks are all potential power sources.
Invention A straightforward electrostatic device created in the 1740s by Benjamin Franklin and Scottish monk Andrew Grandson was the first electric motor. Michael Faraday created the first generator in 1831
  • AC Motor

The two types of AC motors are synchronous motors and induction motors

  • Standby
  • Portable
  • Inverter
Working Principle (theory) Its foundation is the current-carrying conductor, which when kept in a magnetic field, experiences a force It is founded on the electromagnetic induction theory.
Fleming Rule
  • It follows Fleming’s Left Hand Rule.
  • Armature winding provides the current.
  • It follows Flemings’s right-hand rule.
  • The armature winding generates current
Electricity Electricity is used. It produces electrical energy
EMF It provides the circuit with outback emf. Emf is provided to linked loads.
  • Stator
  • Rotor
  • Shaft Commutator
  • Brushes
  • Stator Rotor
  • Shaft
  • Turbine Water Flow Blades
Uses The motor is used to power ceiling fans, cars, bikes, etc. Generators are used to provide electricity
Source of energy M Power grids and electrical supply The generator takes the source of energy from Turbines and the engine

Types – Motor And Generator


The two types of electric motors depending on the nature of the supply. These are the synchronous and induction motors of the AC motor and the DC motor (Series, shunt & compound motor).


There are two different kinds of electric generators. These are the synchronised and induction generator (AC generator) and the direct current generator (Separately excited & self-excited).

Motor and Generator Types

Machine Input


The magnetic field is already present in an electric motor. We must provide electric current in order to generate the mechanical force. Electric current for the motor is supplied by power networks or generators.


In an electric generator, we must apply an ongoing force to rotate the shaft and hence the conductor in order to determine the direction of induced current. This mechanical force is produced by combustion engines, steam turbines, or water turbines.

Machine Output


The mechanical force is the electric motor’s output.


Electricity is the generator’s output. Depending on the kind of generator, it can either be AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current).

Current flow direction


The armature windings of an electric motor receive the flow of current. To generate mechanical force, the carbon brushes draw current from an external source and deliver it to the armature conductors.

Current flow direction


In a generator, the armature windings induce the current. The external load attached to the generator is supplied with current by the carbon brushes after being drawn from the armature windings.

Uses – Motor And Generator


Homes, workplaces, and businesses all use electric motors. Electric motors are used in elevators, mixer grinders, drilling equipment, cranes, and hoists.


Electricity production is the generator’s main purpose. Electric generators are used by nuclear power plants, steam power plants, and hydroelectric power plants. Batteries are charged by generators in various industrial settings.

The fundamental distinctions between a motor and a generator are as follows. We hope that this essay has helped you understand the motor and the generator a little bit better.

Key Differences Between Generator And Motor – FAQs

Can a generator be used as a motor?
Any electrical generator can theoretically act as an electric motor, and the opposite is true. A “motor-generator” is a single electric machine that converts between electrical power and mechanical power and is utilized in hybrid automobiles and other lightweight power systems.
Is every DC motor a generator?
Brushed DC and Brushless DC (BLDC) motors can both function as generators, which may surprise design engineers. In contrast to brushless DC motors, which are good for AC voltage applications, brushed DC motors are best suited for generator applications that need a DC voltage output.
Can we use an AC motor as a generator?
Usually, without requiring any internal alterations, a conventional AC induction motor can be used as a generator
How many generator watts do I need?
A 5,000–7,000 watt generator should be plenty to power your lights, refrigerator, microwave, sump pump, and other appliances. A 10,000-watt model is required if you wish to run more power-hungry appliances like an air conditioner or water heater.
What is the basic principle of generator and motor?
The current-carrying conductor, which feels a force while it is maintained in the magnetic field, is the foundation of a motor’s operation. The generator’s operating system is based on electromagnetic induction.



The primary purpose of electric motors is to produce mechanical output, such as that of blowers, fans, mills, rollers, ships, etc. Like in electric automobiles, an electrical supply is an input to an electrical motor, which is then transformed into a mechanical output. Electrical generators, on the other hand, utilize mechanical input to produce an electrical output. This often comes in handy in cases of power outages, in places like mines where electrical supply is impossible, in isolated locations, etc.

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