|MLA Citation:||Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 592"|
How Everything Works 19 Jan 2018. 19 Jan 2018 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=592>.
The amount of energy given to each electric charge that flows through the wires in the stator depends on the speed with which the magnet turns and the strength of that magnet. Whether it's internal or external, the voltage regulator monitors this energy per charge—also known as the voltage—to make sure that it's correct. If not, it adjusts the strength of the alternator's magnet. It can do this because the alternator's magnet is actually an electromagnet and its strength depends on how much current is flowing through its wire coils. The voltage regulator carefully adjusts the current flowing through the electromagnet in order to obtain the proper output voltage from the alternator. Actually, the alternator itself produces alternating current, so a set of solid-state diodes converts this alternating current into direct current. A car's electric system, particularly its battery, operates on direct current. Since the alternator's operation is the same whether the voltage regulator is inside it or external to it, neither version should be better than the other.