The Challenge: Generate electricity
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Generators in Cars and Bicycles
Cars need a direct-current supply to operate the ignition, lights, windshield
wipers, etc. This is generated by an alternator which is mechanically coupled
to the engine. A device called a rectifier is used to convert the alternating
current output to direct current. A regulator also has to be fitted to control
the current, so that the alternator's output voltage continues to match
the voltage of the vehicle's battery as the engine speed changes.
A dynamo on a bicycle,
that produces electricity as you cycle, is another example of a generator.
Its basic design is just the same as the home-made generator described above.
a bicycle dynamo