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The voltage regulator of a car works in close companionship with two other devices to ensure that the car maintains the power necessary in order to operate its electrical components. The devices that work with the voltage regulator of a car are the battery and the alternator.
The alternator of a car produces power, in order to charge the battery. Alternators use the power generated by magnetism in order to produce electricity. As the car's engine runs, it turns a pulley in the alternator. This pulley spins a rotor around a wire coil with an iron core. This process produces a magnetic field in the rotor, which then creates an electrical current in the coil of wire.
The electric current that is created in the alternator is alternating current. Unfortunately, however, the car's battery requires direct current. The alternating current from the alternator is sent through a set of diodes that prevent the current from flowing in any other direction. The current, having been forced to flow in one direction only, is now direct current, which makes it suitable for the battery's use.
The battery of the car stores the energy, and provides energy to the parts of the car that need it, such as the air conditioning, the radio, and most of all, the spark plugs. It is necessary, however, to ensure that the battery receives the correct amount of voltage. If the battery receives the wrong level of voltage, it can damage the battery, or the other electric components of the car. The correct level of voltage is set and maintained by the voltage regulator.
The voltage regulator of a car could be one of two types. The grounded voltage regulator regulates the amount of negative ground that goes into the rotor, while the grounded field voltage regulator controls the amount of positive ground that goes into the rotor. Both actions change the amount of direct current created by the alternator, which increases or decreases the amount of current provided to the battery as necessary to keep the amount of current within safe levels.