Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Inside Magnets and How they Make Magnetic Generators Possible

Magnetic generators are able to do what they do thanks to the power of magnets. If anyone is thinking about setting up their own magnetic power generator, then it wouldn't hurt to take a look at magnets and try to get a better understanding of just what they are exactly and how they work. There are actually many different kinds of magnets and they are all made using completely different materials. Magnets have been around since the Greeks discovered that lodestone attracted pieces of iron. It was from that time on the mystery and power of magnets has been probed, researched and constantly amazed young children.

Magnets are all created equal and there are actually three different kinds of magnets. The first kind is referred to as permanent or hard magnets. This kind of magnet is what most people would be familiar with. They are the usual kind we find in fridge magnets and most other common daily used devices. These magnets create a magnetic field all the time. They never switch on and off and they are always making a magnetic field. This allows fridge makes to stay stuck to the fridge without falling off. The second kind of magnet is called temporary or soft magnets. As you might be able to guess from the name, these kinds of magnets aren't always "on". The magnetic field that they create doesn't last forever. Just when are these magnets "on"? When they are in the presence of a magnetic field and for a little time after, they continue to produce their own magnetic field. It is during these times that they are considered magnets. The third kind of magnet is an electromagnet. These magnets only produce an electric field when electricity is traveling through their wire coils.

Besides having three different kinds of magnets, there are different materials that can be used in the construction of them. The common fridge magnet is made from ceramic. You will also find these kinds of magnets in many school science classrooms around the world. They contain iron oxide in a ceramic composite. These kinds of magnets aren't very strong. Alnico magnets are made from aluminum, nickel and cobalt. Unlike ceramic magnets, these ones are actually much stronger but still don't come anywhere near the power from rare-earth metal magnets. Rare-earth metal magnets fall into two groups; neodymium and samarium cobalt. These two groups of magnets offer the strongest magnetic fields known to this day.

So just how do magnets work? Magnets do what they do thanks to all of the magnetic domains within ferromagnetic materials, like iron, cobalt and nickel, pointing in the same direction. A magnetic domain is basically a small magnet in itself. Usually, the domains in these materials are not pointing in the same direction and they cancel each other out. The higher the number of these domains that point in the same direction, the stronger the magnetic field of the magnet is. This is essentially how a magnet works and why it creates a magnetic field.

Magnetic generators rely entirely on the magnetic field produced by magnets. It is this magnetic field that allows magnetic power generators to create electricity using a source of energy that doesn't pollute or produce large amounts of harmful by products. With a better understanding of why and how magnets work, you'll have a much greater appreciation of making clean home electricity with your very own magnetic generator.

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