As we know, electric current flows in two ways as alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC), what’s their difference? Which one does need to you use in your favored application? Here we will see the answers.
What is an Alternating Current (AC)?
In alternating current, the flow of charge periodically changes direction. Alternating current is the most commonly used and popular electricity for household appliances, offices, buildings, etc. It was first tested in 1832 using a generator based on Michael Faraday’s principles.
An alternating current can be identified in a waveform called a sine wave. In other words, it can be called a curve. These curves represent electrical cycles, measured every second. Measurements are read in Hertz (Hz). Alternating current is used in power stations and buildings because it is relatively easy to generate and transmit alternating current over long distances. Alternating current is capable of powering electric motors used in refrigerators, washing machines, and more.
What is Direct Current (DC)?
Unlike alternating currents, the flow of direct current does not vary periodically. Electricity flows in one direction at a steady voltage. The main use of direct current is to power electrical equipment and also to charge batteries. Examples: cell phone batteries, flashlights, flat-screen TVs, and electric cars. DC has a combination of plus and minus signs, dashed or straight.
Everything that runs on batteries and uses an AC adapter when plugged into the wall or uses a USB cable for power relies on DC. Examples include cell phones, electric cars, flashlights, and flat-screen TVs (where AC goes into the TV and is converted to DC).
What is the Difference Between AC and DC Current?
The following table lists the main differences between AC and DC:
|Alternating current is easily transmitted over long distances—even between two cities—without losing much energy.||Direct current cannot be transmitted over long distances. It loses power.|
|A rotating magnet causes a change in the direction of the current flow.||Stable magnetism allows direct current to flow in one direction.|
|The frequency of alternating current depends on the country. Typically, the frequency is 50 Hz or 60 Hz.||DC has no frequency or zero frequency.|
|In alternating current, the current changes direction periodically forward and backward.||It flows steadily in one direction.|
|Electrons in alternating current are constantly changing their direction—back and forth.||The electrons only move in one direction – forward.|