Electric current flows either in one direction or keeps changing its directions periodically. Hence, there are two ways of current flow, namely; alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The major difference between AC and DC is that current electricity flows gradually in one direction in the direct current (DC). However, current continuously varies its direction from forward to backwards and vice versa. Learn more about the points that distinguish between AC and DC.
What is an AC Current?
The term AC refers to Alternating Current in Physics, which is highly preferred electric power for office, household equipment, and more. The critical difference between alternating current and direct current lies in the direction in which electric charges flow. In AC, electrons continuously change their directions from forward to backwards periodically.
The curve of an alternating current when drawn on a graph represents the sine waveform. The curved lines denote electric cycles that are measured per second. As compared to DC current, it’s easy to generate and transport AC across large distances. Hence, alternating current is widely used in buildings, powerhouses, and more.
What is a DC Current?
DC refers to direct current in which there is no change in the direction of current flow. Hence, the major difference between AC and DC current is the electric current flows only in one direction in a stable voltage in DC current. One of the major uses of DC is to charge batteries and supply power for electrical devices. In the DC circuit, electrons emerge from the negative side and move towards the positive side. The basic source of DC is produced by photovoltaic cells, batteries, or electrochemical cells.
The above image shows that direct current flows in one direction. The graph shows the proportionality between the magnitude of DC and time.
Anything that uses an AC adapter while plugging into a wall or that runs on a battery depends on direct current. Some of the examples of DC include flashlights, mobile phone batteries, electric vehicles, and more. By going through with the difference between AC current and DC current, it’s easy to understand why AC is most referred across several applications.
How Alternating Current is Converted into Direct Current?
There are several cases when there is a necessity to convert AC into DC. It’s because of the AC and DC difference that direct current is less preferred over long distances. To convert AC into DC, the power supply that consists of a transformer is required. Later it gets converted into direct current with the help of a rectifier. The conversion of AC into DC is beneficial to prevent the flow of current from reversing. A filter used eradicated the current pulsations in the rectifier output.
Differentiate Between AC and DC Current
To sum up, the points of difference between AC and DC include: