January 20, 2020

What’s the Difference Between AC and DC?

The use of electric power is what makes so much of our daily lives easier, from the small comforts we’ve come to expect like lights and the ability to use appliances to powering systems on a larger scale like the communications and operations of a manufacturing operation.

The first step to understanding electricity is to learn how it works. Electric currents flow in alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). Here’s the difference between the two.

Direction of Current Flow

The most significant difference between AC and DC is in the direction of flow. DC flows in a forward direction while AC flows in both forward and backward directions. As a result, the DC method transmits power within short distances. DC powers appliances that use batteries as a power source, such as a cell phone. AC is suitable for carrying power over long distances, as well as powering large appliances found in homes like HVAC systems. There also exists a combination of the two in the form of AC/DC power. For instance, a laptop plugged into a home or office’s wall outlet will get AC power from the outlet, which is then converted into DC power when it reaches the laptop’s charging adapter that leads to the battery.

Frequency Size

AC power has a frequency between 50Hz and 60Hz, while DC’s frequency is zero. To obtain the AC, generators, and mains are used, while DC is obtained from cells and batteries. Homes use AC from the local power grid. Power supply companies lower the high voltage into lower amounts with the aid of a transformer.

Contact Seidel Electric Inc.

Electricity connectivity can be dangerous and is best handled by an electrician. Seidel Electric Inc. is a Power Pro Professional with skilled electricians who can be trusted with all your electrical connection needs. We have over 75 years of experience in electrical work in Blairstown, NJ, and the surrounding regions. We stand by our excellent quality of work and committed team. Contact us today for all your electrical project design needs, including indoor and outdoor lighting, residential electrical work, and home entertainment wiring.