What is the difference between Direct Current and Alternating Current ?

Asked by  | 14th Mar, 2008, 07:39: PM

Expert Answer:

Electricity flows in two ways; either in alternating current or AC and in direct current or DC. The difference between AC and DC has to do with the direction in which the electrons flow. In DC, the electrons flow steadily in a single direction, or "forward." In AC, electrons keep switching directions, sometimes going "forwards" and then going "backwards." The power that comes from our wall outlets is AC, the more common, efficient kind.

Another difference between AC and DC involves the amount of energy it can carry. Each battery is designed to produce only one voltage, and that voltage of DC cannot travel very far until it begins to lose energy. But AC's voltage from a generator, in a power plant, can be bumped up or down in strength by another mechanism called a transformer. Transformers are located on the electrical pole on the street, not at the power plant. They change very high voltage into a lower voltage appropriate for your home appliances, like lamps and refrigerators. AC can even be changed to DC by an adaptor that you might use to power the battery on your laptop.



Answered by  | 22nd Mar, 2008, 02:26: AM

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