Alternators are the replacements of old diesel generators that helped to produce the necessary power for charging the battery of the car as well as for the functioning of accessories like headlights, stereos, air conditioners etc. These are lighter than the generators or dynamos and cheaper too. But it is more efficient than the generators in its performance. Unlike the old cars, where the number of accessories that worked on electrical energy was less, the new generation cars have many features and accessories that need electricity. It includes the power windows and power steering. So, more electricity is needed. Secondly, the weight of the generators should not affect the overall performance of the car. So, it has been replaced with much lighter alternators. Alternator Regulator is one of the most important parts of an alternator.
In the early stages Alternator Regulator was a separate part which has been installed at some other parts of the car. Later it has been incorporated into the alternator. The most important function of an Alternator Regulator is to modulate the small field current to produce a steady voltage at the terminals of the battery. In some recent models, anyhow they have avoided Alternator Regulator and instead the function is performed by an electronic control unit. The Alternator Regulator also functions as a mode of communication between the battery and the alternator. Whenever the battery is low, it will communicate with the alternator to produce more electricity.
In modern cars the Alternator Regulator is linked to the computer system of the car and it evaluate various factors like intake air temperature, battery temperature, vehicle load etc while producing the necessary electricity. All these things have been taken into consideration for deciding the quantity of the electricity to be produced. Most of the luxury cars are coming up with this system. This will reduce the maintenance of the vehicle easier and the performance also will increase.
However, just like any other parts of the car, alternators are also prone to failures. If it get failed the first symptom will be starting problem. This can happen due to various other reasons also. So, you should make a thorough check up before coming into the conclusion that the problem is with alternator. All the minor problems with alternators can be repaired and if it is beyond that stage, you will have to replace it with a new one. But as mentioned earlier, alternators are not much costly. So, you will not find it as a burden. It will be advisable to browse through various sites which give you more deep knowledge about alternators and Alternator Regulator. This will certainly help you in future.