AUTO THEORY Automobile Electrical Systems — Part 3: How Voltage Regulators Work Voltage Regulators. As you may recall from last month's article on the function of generators in your classic car, there is no means of internally controlling the output of one.In other words, the faster it spins the more voltage goes into the car's electrical system.
Alternator charging voltage can be regulated using an electro-mechanical, electronic, or computer controlled regulator. The desired voltage output is achieved by changing the amount of current to the field circuit. Consider the field circuit as power into the alternator.
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The output voltage of the alternator is dependent to the magnetic field strength, therefore by controlling the amount of field current the output voltage of the alternator can be controlled also. The field current is dependent on the duty cycle set by the IC regulator.
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The Charging System Circuit. Four wires connect the alternator to the rest of the charging system. 'B' is the alternator output wire that supplies current to the battery. 'IG' is the ignition input that turns on the alternator/regulator assembly.