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Introduction to Alternator Parts and How To Prevent Counterfeit Parts


Buy certified parts, like these Stamford alternator parts, from General Power.

Alternators are important tools for generating electricity. Depending on how you use them, your alternators may be responsible for powering businesses and organizations that thousands of people depend on.

Not all alternator parts are equal. Some are downright fake. You can avoid getting duped by counterfeit alternator parts by learning the component parts of a typical alternator. Also, discover how manufacturers are working to prevent counterfeit parts to ensure you get genuine replacement parts.

What Are the Component Parts of a Typical Alternator?

An alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical current. The main parts of an alternator are the rotor (or armature) and the stator, which is a stationary part containing a set of coils that conducts electricity. When the rotor moves, it creates a constantly rotating electromagnetic field around the stator, producing electrical voltage.

Electrical generating systems can be either rotating, as described above, or static. A typical static electrical generating system, which uses a chemical reaction to produce electrical energy, is a solar-powered system. An example of a rotating electromechanical machine is a typical diesel- or gasoline-powered generator set. Rotating systems can be two types: alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).

To generate electricity, whether AC or DC, three things are essential: a wire, a magnetic field and relative motion between the wire and magnetic field. Producing a magnetic field requires a minimum of two magnetized poles: one north pole and one south pole.

Alternator Parts

Here’s an overview of a typical alternator’s internal parts showing how a wire, a magnetic field and relative motion work together to produce electrical energy.

Rotor Assembly

Powering the alternator is the rotor assembly. At the heart of the rotor assembly is an iron core, around which wires called field windings are wound.

When the rotor spins, these wires create the magnetic, or excitation, field that induces the output current in the armature windings. The armature windings are sets of coils wrapped around the inner circumference of the stator.


The stator surrounds the rotor and is made up of wire coils around an iron housing. Finger poles, with alternating north and south charges, are placed around the core and the field windings, creating a magnetic field that induces voltage into the stator.

Input Shaft

The central axle of the rotor, called the input shaft, connects to the prime mover, such as the water turbine, engine, etc. That provides the rotational energy, which the alternator then converts into electrical energy.


An exciter powers the magnetic field by either transferring excitation current or using magnetic induction to provide power to the field windings. The exciter uses a commutator to convert the resulting AC into DC.

Voltage Regulator

The voltage regulator, as its name states, regulates the voltage the alternator produces and adjusts the field excitation going to the exciter and rotor. This increases or decreases the magnetic field strength and corrects the voltage output to prevent overloading or charging problems.

Manufacturers invest money, research and technology into producing quality alternators that operate efficiently over the long term to stand up to the most rigorous conditions. After investing in a quality alternator, you’ll want to protect its integrity by buying only genuine replacement parts.

How to Prevent Counterfeit Parts

When it’s time for new alternator parts, be wary of counterfeits, which pose a real danger to user safety and to the reputation of legitimate manufacturers and wholesalers. Counterfeit parts aren’t manufactured under the stringent safety and testing codes followed by legitimate companies. Those parts have been found to have cracks in the fan casting, insufficient stator impregnation, dangerous foot arrangement, general mechanical failures and loose wiring.

Don’t let price take you in, either. You may find that counterfeit parts don’t cost as much as genuine components, but be extremely cautious. You may save money in the short-term, but the inferior quality of counterfeits could cost you more in damage and lost time in the long run.

Counterfeit parts are often labeled with another successful brand’s markings, making it difficult for the customer to detect an illegally produced product. One generator and alternator manufacturer, Cummins Generator Technologies, is among the many working to change that.

How Companies Employ Anti-Counterfeit Efforts

Within the last few years, Cummins has instituted a global anti-counterfeit strategy and has actively pursued counterfeiters in an attempt to interrupt the supply chain and raise awareness. Cummins has educated customers and end users to look for authentic branding and a security tag in the form of a CD hologram affixed to the product. Customers can also instantly validate their unit’s serial number through Cummins’ website.

If your alternator ever requires replacement parts, you can avoid counterfeits by buying from a reputable alternator seller or wholesalers. Do your research to locate genuine parts. Look for authentic branding that certifies the product was manufactured by a legitimate company. Double-check the part’s authenticity by registering it with the manufacturer.

Plus, with every genuine product you purchase, you’ll be helping to eradicate counterfeiters and strengthen manufacturing across industries.

General Power is committed to fighting counterfeit parts.

  • 100% of our products are purchased directly from the original manufacturers
  • 100% of our products are individually serialized and can be individually tracked back to the factory
  • 100% of our manufacturers will gladly certify the origin and authenticity of our products

Contact our team to order your genuine alternator parts from Cummins, Leroy Somer and other manufacturers today.

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