An alternator is machine that generates alternation electricity. It is a type of generator by which mechanical energy is converted into alternating electrical energy. Alternator is also called as synchronous generator. By applications, the alternators are classified as automotive type, diesel electric locomotive type, marine type, brush less type and radio alternators. The automotive alternators experimentation expanded in the year 1949, based on their military applications during World War II. The power for modern vehicle electrical system is produced from an alternator when the car engine is in running state. In automobiles, alternators are also used for charging the battery. Therefore, the alternator is much simpler, lighter, cheaper and rougher than other DC generators used. Although motor vehicles electrical system generally needs direct current but an alternator with diode rectifier is better choice than a DC generator as there is no complicated commutation in it. Commutator is the moving part of a rotary electrical switch in electric motors as well as generators that reverses the direction of current between the rotor and external circuit in a period of time.
Alternator is also used in diesel electric locomotives. The alternating current produced is converted to direct current with the help of silicon diode rectifiers to run the traction motors which are used to drive the locomotive wheels. The alternator used in marine is typically designed with suitable adaptations to saline water environment. The brush type alternators are used in power electric generation plant as a main power source. The radio alternators are used for the transmission of low band radio frequency. On the basis of design, alternators are categorized into two major types which include salient pole type and smooth cylindrical type. The salient pole type alternators are the medium or low speed alternators having large diameters and small axial lengths. They look like big wheels and are used mainly in hydro power plant. The smooth cylindrical type alternators are used for steam turbines having a high speed rotor.
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Providing low costs offerings for alternators sourced from overseas would be a good opportunity for alternator market to significantly grow in the near future. The shift towards salient pole alternators from cylindrical pole alternators leads to increasing complexity, along with time, cost, as well as skill of remanufacturing, which makes these new products a better alternative. Therefore, in order to remain stiff in an increasingly competitive market, manufacturers should align their product line as well as distribution strategies with the market needs, while also considering geographic expansion.
The market for alternator is highly competitive and includes various key players such as Robert Bosch GmbH, Denso Corporation, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd., Valeo SA, Mitsuba Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Hella Kgaa Hueck & Co., Lucas Electrical, Controlled Power Technologies Ltd., Asimco Technologies, Letrika Group, Lucas Electrical, Prestolite Electric, Remy International, Wonder Auto Technology, and Zhejiang Dehong Automotive Electronic & Electrical Systems Co., Ltd.