A dynamo (from the Greek word dynamis; meaning power), originally another name for an electrical generator, generally means a generator that produces direct current with the use of a commutator. Dynamos were the first electrical generators capable of delivering power for industry, and the foundation upon which many other later electric-power conversion devices were based, including the electric motor, the alternating current alternator, and the rotary converter. Today, the simpler alternator dominates large scale power generation, for efficiency, reliability and cost reasons. A dynamo has the disadvantages of a mechanical commutator. Also, converting alternating to direct current using power rectification devices (hollow state or more recently solid state) is effective and usually economic.

The word still has some regional usage as a replacement for the word generator. A small electrical generator built into the hub of a bicycle wheel to power lights is called a Hub dynamo, although these are invariably AC devices. (Wikipedia, Dynamo)

"In electric lighting, the velocity of the dynamos accumulates only the harmonic current - by atomic and interatomic conflict - transferring one-two hundred thousandth (1/200,000) of the light that the dominant current would give, if it were possible to construct a device whereby it could be concentrated and dispersed." The Snell Manuscript

See Also

Commutator for Dynamo Electric Machines - 334823
Dynamo Electric Machine - 359748
Figure 19.07 - Another view of Globe Motor with a different kind of Dynamo
Polar Interchange - Table of Contents
Polar Interchange - Part I
Polar Interchange - Part II
Polar Interchange - Part III
Polar Interchange - Part IV
Polar Interchange - Part I - See Also
Polar Interchange - Bibliography
Polar Interchange - Device Design
Regulator for Dynamo Electric Machines - 336961
Russells Optic Dynamo-Generator

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