Alternating Current AC vs. Direct Current DC

Difference Between Alternating Current AC and Direct Current DC

AC and DC are two types of current. They are used in sending electric current. The similarity between the two is that they both involve flow of electrons. But it is the only similarity between the two. Electric current means electrons in a flowing state. They are different from each other and used for different purposes. DC (Direct Current) flows in a definite direction while AC (Alternating current) changes it directions. They are different in their features.

Alternating Current

Alternating current provides electricity to buildings as it is easy to produce and distribute. AC is produced in power plants by rotating turbines. A rotating turbine produce magnetic field which moves the electrons in the wire coiled in the dynamo. In the process magnetic field pushes and pulling electrons. As a results electrons come in a flowing state which is called electric current. Since the electrons are pulled and pushed, Alternating Current is produced.

Direct Current

Direct Current is produced by pushing the electrons in a definite direction. There is no pulling of electrons like AC. There are no moving parts in the production of direct current. Examples of DC current are batteries and solar panels. Battery is made up of chemicals producing energy which pushes electrons in one direction. As result the current is non directional. The appliances like TV, Radio, and Computer in our home use direct current or DC. But, there is an adapter inside these appliances which converts AC into DC. Direct current is suitable for transportation over a long distance. But it is not used so often by general purposes. It is converted to AC before sending to homes and other buildings.

AC keeps changing directions. As a result cannot be used in electronic gadgets. But there are few things which use AC such as bulbs, CFL, fans etc. These instruments can use both direct as well alternating current. The change of direction in AC is 50 to 60 times in a second. So, it can be concluded that a bulb using AC is switched off and on 50 to 60 times in a second. But this change is very fast. As a result our eyes cannot observe the bulb turning on and off. Some appliances use AC directly while some appliances use DC.  These appliances using DC convert AC to DC.

We cannot say that which type of current has more advantage. Both are equally useful.


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