Alternating current (AC) Vs Direct current (DC) difference between

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It is no secret that our life is completely dependent on electricity. But do you know how electricity gets to our homes and offices? Current is the flow of electrons through a wire. Current is divided into alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

Ac and DC are distinguished by the direction of the current flow. The motion of electrons varies in alternating current. It goes forward, then backward. In direct current, the current flows in only one direction.

In this article, we will look at AC voltage and DC voltage in detail. We’ll also explain the differences between them and which one you should use.

What is Alternate Current?

Alternating current (AC)

Alternate current (AC) is an electric current that reverses direction regularly, with a frequency of 50-60 Hz. AC can be transformed from high to low values very quickly via a transformer, making it the best choice for transmission and distribution. Thanks for everything, AC!

What is Direct Current?

Direct current (DC)

Direct current (DC) is an electric current that flows in one direction only. DC has a constant size and polarity, and it runs at a frequency of 0 Hz. It is used for applications such as mobile phones, welding, electronic equipment, and electric vehicles.

The Difference Between AC vs DC

Criteria AC DC
waveform generation Most commonly produces a sine wave Constant voltage/current tends to produce a horizontal waveform
commutator rectifier, by internal chemical reaction
Generator Alternator, a generator designed to produce alternating current Convert alternating current to direct current
Suitable for long-distance transmission Applicable, small transmission loss Not very suitable, unless the voltage is high enough, the transmission loss will be more
usage Not very suitable for electronics unless the power is converted to DC by a rectifier Suitable for electronic products
Security Level AC voltage causes current to enter the body without closing the loop DC currents, common in appliances, tend to be safer

Advantages of alternating current and direct current


Easy to retrofit
Low power loss at high voltage
Converting to DC is easier and cheaper
Turns off easily when powered
Don’t worry about positive and negative voltages
Cheaper to produce, repair, and maintain


l Circuit without lead/delay
l Reactive power generation
l Can store electricity
l lower resistance
l Requires less conductor and insulating material

Disadvantages of alternating current and direct current


l A higher voltage than the target voltage is required
l Influenced by coils and capacitors
l Not suitable for ultra-long-distance transmission
l More dangerous under high pressure
l More complex construction
l Sustained outages on power lines


l Difficult Current Interruption
l Difficult voltage conversion
l Strong electrolytic effect
l Power cannot be generated at high voltage due to commutation issues

AC vs DC, which should you use?

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Long Distance Power Transmission:

AC: The ability to increase voltages through transformers results in less resistance in the wires, making it more efficient for transmitting power over long distances.
DC: DC is difficult and expensive to create at high voltages.

Ease of Usage/Simplicity:

AC: simple to operate because it uses wires and transformers to adjust voltages.
DC: unable to conveniently convert voltages because it requires complicated circuits.

Compatibility with electronics:

AC: May cause damage to electronic devices due to the fluctuating current
DC: Less likely to damage electronic devices as current flows in one direction


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It’s important to choose the right current for your needs. DC is typically used for powering electronic devices, while AC is more easily modulated. However, both have their advantages and it ultimately comes down to the user application.

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