Briggs & Stratton has been producing lawn equipment engines for many years. Its large engines, which are used on riding lawn mowers, include alternators to produce power for lights and other accessories. Some Briggs & Stratton engines are equipped with dual-circuit alternators, which are unique to lawn mowers.
A dual-circuit alternator is basically an alternator with two outputs. Briggs & Stratton runs one of these outputs through a rectifier to produce a direct current, or DC, circuit. In essence, this alternator produces alternating current---AC---and direct current.
The AC and DC circuits are used to power different accessories on the lawn equipment. The AC circuit usually powers the lights. The DC circuit keeps the battery charged.
In this configuration, the lights are not connected to the battery. This prevents the battery from being rundown by the lights. This reduces the load on the battery.
Because all of the lights' power comes directly from the AC alternator, the lights cannot be used unless the engine is running. This might pose a problem in rare situations where the lights need to be on while the engine is off.
The dual-circuit alternator consists of three parts. Attached to the flywheel is a series of magnets that produce the magnetic field needed for the alternator operation. Below the flywheel is the AC alternator, which produces two separate AC currents on two different circuits. The final piece is the rectifier. One of the two AC circuits is sent through the rectifier to change the AC current to DC current.
- Photo Credit bushhog tractor attachment image by Kathy Burns from Fotolia.com
What is a 305 Briggs Engine?
The 305cc (cubic centimeter) engine manufactured by Briggs and Stratton is a mid-sized engine used for light- to medium-duty power applications on...
How to Replace a Riding Lawn Mower Engine
After a few long summers of mowing, your riding lawn tractor can become very worn out and possibly even fail to run....
Troubleshooting a Briggs & Stratton Generator
A generator you use for your home or at a job site to power equipment or appliances can come equipped with a...
How to Wire a Briggs & Stratton Alternator
Briggs & Stratton has produced lawn-mower engines and small engines in the U.S. for decades. Briggs & Stratton uses various alternators to...
How to Replace a Starter Solenoid on a Briggs & Stratton Engine
Briggs & Stratton engines are very common on a variety of machines like generators, mowers and go karts. Over time components of...