Direct Current

Direct current (d.c) is usually supplied by acid-based batteries or dry cells. A common example of acid-based (electrolyte) batteries is the car battery. Direct current is uniform current flowing in one fixed direction in a circuit.

Alternating Current

Alternating current (a.c) is generated from alternating current generators such as hydroelectric power generators. The electricity supplied to households is alternating current. Household electricity (alternating current) changes direction 50 times every second. Its magnitude also changes with time.

Period And Frequency

The time taken for one complete cycle is known as the period, T. The frequency f is defined as the number of complete cycles in 1 second. The relationship between the frequency and the period is:

`f = \frac{1}{T}`

The maximum potential difference supplied by an a.c source is known as the peak voltage V

_{P}. The effective potential difference for an a.c is equal to the potential difference of a alternating current if both results in the same heating effect. The effective potential difference for a.c is known as the root mean square voltage (r.m.s) of the a.c. and is given y the following equation:

`V_{rms} = \frac{{V_p }}{{\sqrt 2 }}`

The root-mean-square (r.m.s) value of an alternating current is the value of the steady direct current which produces the same power in a resistor as the mean power produced by the alternating current. The r.m.s current is the effective value of the alternating current.

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