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Why Do We Use Alternating Current Electricity?
Why Do We Use Alternating Current Electricity?
February 01, 2023

Why Do We Use Alternating Current Electricity?

The Alternating Current (AC) is predominantly used in homes and businesses around the world. One may like to know why it is preferred and the reason most homes are wired for AC and not the Direct Current (DC).

However, before we could dive into the reasons why alternative current is popular, wed like you to know the real difference between the two types of current flow in a circuit as well as the history of the AC and DC current.

The Direct Current (DC), as the name implies, only allows electric charges to flow in one direction while the electric charges in the Alternative Current (AC) change direction periodically.

Additionally, the AC also has other advantages and properties that make it the safest and preferred choice. The AC electricity alternates back-and-forth in direction 50 or 60 times per second, and it is more suitable for long-distance transmission and can be easily converted with the use of a transformer.

The History behind AC and DC Electricity

The history of electricity revolves around the whole lightning and kite experiment by Thomas Edison. Though there are other distinct schools of thought against the notion that electricity was invented via this simple experiment by Thomas Edison, but he is acclaimed as the person who discovered electricity.

To further enhance his invention, in 1887, Thomas Edison constructed 121 DC power stations in the United States. Then other researchers that contributed to the evolution of electricity were George Westinghouse, Ganz Works, and Nikola Tesla who invested in AC motors and transmission.

Things accelerated pretty rapidly, and in 1891, an International Electro-Technical Exhibition was held in Frankfurt, Germany, and technologies pertaining to the three-phase was in display. This caught the attention of representatives of General Electric and other electrical companies in Europe. Subsequently, legislatures in different parts of the world deliberated about the AC electricity in their countries. Over the years, there has been a variety of inventions across the United States and Europe, which led to the adoption of the alternative current over the direct current by many nations in the world.

Applications and Generation of the DC and the AC Electricity

The AC electricity can be generated or produced using a device called alternator. The design of the device uses a magnetic field and polarity to produce alternative currents.

On the other hand, the DC can be generated in a number of ways, including specifically designed devices having commutators and other types with rectifier that converts AC to DC. Additionally, batteries are used to generate DC electricity. Please note that the information provided in this article is for reading purposes only. Therefore, if you are not a trained and certified professional electrician or engineer, you should not deal, repair, or install electrical devices or components in your home or office.

For more clarifications about the mechanisms and uses of both types of current (AC and DC), the expert electricians at Neighborhood Electric are readily available to assist you. Call us or drop your inquiries via email, and a trained professional will attend to you. In case you have issues with your home's electrical connections, do not hesitate to give us a call.