Understand the difference between alternating current and direct current

Confused about the difference between alternating current and direct current? Read on to find out the difference between AC and DC and which one is more efficient to use.

Read also: Differences in types of computer cables you need to know

What is an air conditioner?

alternating current (alternating current)

Alternating current (AC) is a type of electric current that keeps changing in magnitude and direction many times in one second. The flow of electrons in alternating current changes periodically. Our homes have an AC supply because, unlike DC, AC voltage travels long distances without losing much power.

Alternating current was first tested, based on Michael Faraday’s principles in 1832 using a dynamo electric generator. Every alternating current waveform has a zero voltage line that divides the waveform into two parts because alternating current changes its magnitude and direction periodically so that for each full cycle it reaches zero volts. The main characteristics of the alternating current waveform are:

  • period (T) It is the total time it takes for a wave to repeat one cycle.
  • frequency (f) It is the number of times a waveform repeats in a one second time period. The Si unit is hertz.
  • amplitude (a) is the magnitude of the signal waveform measured in volt or amp.

AC . Application

  • Alternating current is used for long distance transmission for office and home.
  • The power loss in alternating current is used less in transmission.
  • AC current to high voltage to low voltage and from low voltage to high voltage can be converted efficiently using a transformer.
  • AC power is used in larger applications and appliances such as freezers, washing machines, fans, and lights.

What is DC?

direct current (direct current)

Direct current (DC) is a constant current that does not change direction over time. DC current has a constant magnitude and direction and because direction and magnitude do not change the frequency of DC is zero. Electrons flow in a DC current from a high electron density to a low electron density. We can obtain DC from AC using a process called rectification and the device that does this is called a rectifier.

DC . app

  • DC is widely used in small electronic devices and gadgets.
  • DC current is not good for long distance transmission but storing DC current is easy in the form of a battery.
  • DC power is used in cell phones, laptops, radios, and other electronic gadgets.
  • Constant current is used in the flashlight.
  • DC is used in electric vehicles, hybrid cars, and automobiles.

The difference between alternating current and direct current

  • Alternating current changes direction during flow while DC current does not change direction during flow and remains constant.
  • Alternating current has a frequency indicating how many times the direction of current flow changes as it flows while the frequency of DC is zero because it does not change the direction of flow.
  • AC power factor is 0 to 1 while DC power is a constant zero.
  • Alternating current is generated by the generator while DC current is generated by photovoltaic cells, generators and batteries.
  • AC loads can be capacitive, inductive or resistive but loads on DC are always resistive.
  • The DC current graph has a fixed line showing the magnitude and direction of the constant while AC can be a sine wave, square or triangular wave.
  • The AC to DC converter is a rectifier while the DC to AC converter is a converter.
  • Alternating current is widely used in industrial equipment and consumer electronics such as freezers, coolers, washing machines, lights and fans, while DC is used in electronic gadgets and small appliances such as watches, laptops, cell phones, and sensors.
  • AC can be transmitted over long distances with little losses while DC can be transmitted over very long distances with very low losses using HVDC.
  • DC is very dangerous compared to AC. In alternating current, the magnitude of current flows will be high and low at normal time intervals while, in DC, the magnitude will also be the same. Once the human body is infected, the alternating current will enter and leave the human body in normal time intervals while the direct current will continue to flow in the human body.

AC vs DC Fighting History

Beginning in the late 1880s, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla became involved in the battle now known as war of currents.

Edison developed direct current, a current that flows continuously in one direction, as in a battery or fuel cell. During the early years of electricity, direct current (abbreviated DC) was the standard in the United States, but there was one problem. Direct current is not easily converted to a higher or lower voltage.

Tesla believes that alternating current (or alternating current) is the solution to this problem. Alternating current reverses direction several times per second and can be converted to different voltages with relative ease using a transformer.

Edison, not wanting to lose his royalties on his existing patents, began a campaign to discredit AC. He spread misinformation saying that AC was more dangerous, even going so far as to electrocute wild animals in public with AC to prove his point.

When the Chicago World’s Fair also known as the Columbia World’s Fair was held in 1893. General Electric offered to electrify the Exposition using Edison’s direct current for $554,000, but lost to George Westinghouse, who said he could light the Exposition for only $399,000 using alternating current. Tesla.

That same year, the Niagara Falls Power Company decided to award Westinghouse, which had licensed Tesla’s patented induction AC multiphase motor, a contract to generate power from Niagara Falls. Although some doubted that the fall could affect the whole of Buffalo, New York, Tesla was confident that the fall could strengthen not only Buffalo, but the entire eastern United States.

On November 16, 1896, Buffalo was lit up by the alternating current of Niagara Falls. By this time, General Electric decided to take the AC train, too. Today, alternating current still dominates the electricity that everyone uses, but computers, LED lights, solar cells, and electric vehicles all use DC power.

Why choose AC Current Over DC?

The main reasons for choosing AC voltage over DC voltage include the following.
The power loss when transmitting AC voltage is low compared to DC voltage. When the transformer is at a certain distance, its installation is very simple. The benefit of AC voltage is to increase and decrease the voltage as needed.

AC current is also inexpensive and generates current easily compared to DC and AC current loses less energy during transmission than DC.


Now you know the difference between alternating current and direct current. In fact, both alternating current or alternating current and direct current or direct current have advantages and disadvantages, but this does not mean that there are no options for choosing the best option.

Alternating current, alternating current is generally used for power distribution, which is why electrical sockets in our homes and at work provide alternating current to supply whatever power is needed, but direct current, DC is used mostly for the electronic boards themselves and for many people.

Both AC and direct current supply are widely used in the electrical and electronic industry, and each has advantages in its own field. Both alternating current and direct current are capable of providing electrical power transmission, but with slightly different benefits.

Lots of articles The difference between alternating current and direct current. Look forward to other interesting articles and don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Thank you…

Leave a Comment

/* */