Method and apparatus for controlling the output frequency of an alternator by maintaining a relatively constant speed of rotation of the alternator rotor are disclosed. The rotor includes an annular stator and a rotor rotatably mounted within. In one embodiment the stator winding is comprised of a plurality of discrete polyphase windings positioned within discrete annular segments of the stator. When the actual rotor speed is below the desired speed, selected stator units are de-energized to decrease the strength of the stator magnetic field, thereby permitting the rotor speed to increase. When the actual rotor speed is greater than the desired speed, selected stator units are energized to increase the strength of the stator magnetic field, thereby exerting a braking force on the rotor to slow it down. In another embodiment each phase of the polyphase stator winding includes a plurality of inductor coils. Selected ones of the coils in each phase of the stator winding are selectively energized to decrease the rotor speed or de-energized to increase the rotor speed, as required to maintain the desired rotor speed for substantially constant frequency output.