The use of alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) can be interchangeable with the use of adapters. In the home, alternating current is the main type of current, but many products inside and outside the home make use of AC / DC or DC / DC adapters. The uses that are given and how the energy is handled are the main variants among the types of adapters used in a variety of household items.
What is AC?
AC is the abbreviation in English of alternating current. The NTD Resource Center explains that alternating current flows constantly alternating directions. The current in most homes is of this type; It comes from power plants to outlets inside homes and businesses. Alternating current changes direction back and forth 60 times every second.
Advantage of the AC transformer
Alternating current has the advantage of transformers, which can be used to control low voltage and high voltage current. While alternating current is more desirable for transmitting energy over long distances, transformers in plants, homes or businesses can control the flow of electricity between the two points. This flexibility guarantees the safe transmission of the current regardless of the voltage level.
The use of direct current and its limitations
Direct current does not operate with the benefit of a transformer’s capacity because the flow of electricity moves in one direction. As a result, the voltage can only travel short distances without losing its power. The main source of power of the direct current is the localized battery as opposed to an external power plant.
AC / DC adapters
AC adapters to direct current are used to operate small items that work with direct current. These adapters convert the high-voltage alternating current that we take from the wall outlet to direct low-voltage current for the product that we are turning on, such as mp3 players, video cameras, digital cameras, laptops and telephones.
DC to DC adapters
Direct current adapters are mostly inexpensive and are available in many voltages and current output variations, but their use is limited. This adapter channels the direct current in a battery or power source produced by a generator, as is the case of the batteries of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles; to items that require low-voltage direct current. According to ApogeeKits, direct current adapters come in two types, regulated and unregulated. Unregulated DC adapters are more common and are still the most common type of adapter we use. These are suitable for personal electronic items that work with the standard current output and have little need for voltage variation to facilitate the use of the product.
- NTD Resource Center (Non-destructive testing resource center)
- PBS.org: AC / DC Power (alternating current to direct current)