Dynamo vs Turbine: Difference and Comparison

When electric power is generated with the help of chief energy sources, then it is referred to as electricity generation. It is before its delivery to its storage or end users’ stage. As it is not available in nature freely so, there is a need for its production.  


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Dynamo and turbine are two of the devices required in electricity generation.

Dynamo with the help of electromagnetism, generates electric current, whereas turbine uses a fluid in the electric current generation. In this article, the chief aim is on differentiating dynamo and turbine. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Dynamos are electrical generators that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy using magnetic fields.
  2. Turbines harness the kinetic energy from a moving fluid, such as water or air, to drive a generator and produce electricity.
  3. Dynamos are generally used for small-scale power generation, whereas turbines are used for large-scale power generation.

Dynamo vs Turbine 

A dynamo is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by using the principle of electromagnetic induction. Turbine is a mechanical device that extracts energy from a fluid flow and uses it to rotate a shaft. The turbine generates mechanical energy or AC current.

Dynamo vs Turbine

A dynamo is simply an electrical generator that with the help of a commutator creates direct current.

For industry, the dynamos were the very first electrical generators to deliver power. Also, deliver power to the foundation upon which several other later electric power conversions items were based. 

A turbine is a device that mainly harnesses some fluid’s kinetic energy and turns this into the device’s rotational motion. The fluid can be of any kind like air, steam, combustion gases, or water.

It is used in propulsion systems, engines, and electrical generation. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDynamoTurbine
InterpretationIt is a machine for mechanical energy conversion to electrical energy commonly through copper wires rotating coils in a magnetic field.It is a machine for continuous power production in which a rotor or wheel is generally fitted with vanes.
InventedIn 1831In 1791
InventorMichael FaradayJohn Barber
VoltsProduce 14 voltsProduce 690 volts
ManufacturersRA Instruments, ELMO Agencies, VGM Engineers, and Melody Hobby Center.Nordex Groups, Siemens Gamesa, Shanghai Electric, and Windey.

What is Dynamo? 

The electric dynamo uses wire’s rotating coils and magnetic fields for mechanical rotation conversion to pulsing direct electric current.

This machine comprises a stationary structure that provides a continuous magnetic field. Also, rotating winding’s set which turns within that field.  

Because of Faraday’s law of induction, the wire’s motion within the magnetic field generates an electromotive force. This force in the metal pushes on the electrons creating an electric current.

The constant magnetic field might be offered by one or more permanent magnets on small machines.  

On the other hand, on larger machines, the constant magnetic field is offered by one or more electromagnets and is referred to as field coils.

Historically, for domestic and industrial purposes, they were widely used in power stations for electricity generation. Since they have been switched by alternators.  

In modern times, dynamos still have uses in the application of low power, specifically where there is a requirement of low voltage DC.

Hand-cranked dynamos are used in hand-powered flashlights, clockwork radios, and other equipment of human-powered to recharge batteries. 


What is Turbine? 

Turbine-produced work can be used for electrical power generation when combined with a generator. It is a turbomachine with approx one moving part namely, a rotor assembly.

On the blades, moving fluid acts so that they impart and move rotational energy to the rotor.  

The instances of an early turbine are waterwheels and windmills. Water, steam, and gas turbines have a casing surrounding the blades that control and comprise the working fluid.

With the help of turbo generators, a large proportion of the electrical power across the world is generated.  

Gas turbines offer very high power densities due to their very high running speeds. The turbopumps as main engines were used by Space Shuttle to feed the propellants into the combustion chamber of the engine.

When it comes to industrial processes, turboexpanders are used for refrigeration.  

There are several types of turbines such as aircraft gas turbines, steam turbines, contra-rotating turbines, transonic turbines, ceramic turbines, shroudless turbines, shrouded turbines.

It also comprises water turbines, bladeless turbines, mercury vapor turbines, wind turbines, and many more. 


Main Differences Between Dynamo and Turbine 

  1. In terms of usage, Dynamo is mainly used in motor vehicles. On the flip side, the turbine is generally used in electrical generators, pumps, trains, power aircraft, ships, tanks, and gas compressors.  
  2. When it comes to etymology, the word dynamo is derived from a Greek word namely, dynamis which means power or force. Originally, it was an alternative name for electrical generators. Meanwhile, the word turbine derived from Latin words namely, turbo which means spinning top, and further in mid 19th century from French turned turbine.  
  3. In dynamo, the sliding friction between the commutator and brushes consumes power which leads to its low power and that dynamo’s disadvantage. In contrast, the disadvantage of using a turbine is its lower life and lower net output.
  4. The chief component required in dynamo construction is the commutator, the armature, and the stator. On the other hand, the rotor, base or foundation, tower, generation, and nacelle are some of the major parts of the turbine.  
  5. The merit of using dynamo is that it assists electricity generation mainly for battery charging. On the contrary, the advantage of using a turbine is that it starts quickly, generates less vibration, offers high power to weight ratio, and installation requires less space. 
Difference Between Dynamo and Turbine


  1. https://adsabs.harvard.edu/pdf/1955ApJ…122..293P
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wwplsy8sU6MC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=turbine&ots=le4q74457a&sig=E5fVpTXs079Uu5icdQ7jnh8pXUc
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