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# What is the difference between an AC and DC current?

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Alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) are types of voltage that are used for transmitting electricity. DC is constant energy that moves in one direction, whereas AC changes and moves in a wave-like pattern.

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Electricity arrives at consumer locations via AC, which, due to the shape of the current, can travel longer distances than DC. It powers lamps and appliances. Flashlights and other battery-powered devices use DC power. A laptop computer uses both: AC power is delivered from the wall outlet and transformed (in the black box that is part of the power cable) on its way to the machine, where it delivers DC to the computer battery.

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## Related Questions

• A:

Direct current (DC) can be converted into alternating current (AC) by using an electronic device called a power inverter. The device works by coupling it to a DC power source, such as a battery or solar panel, and then connecting an appliance or standard electrical device to the inverter to receive the AC power supply.

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• A:

Resistance in AC and DC currents is the ability of a material, normally a circuit or a resistor, to oppose or restrict the flow of current through it. The amount of resistance that a material gives is referred to as an ohm. Several common materials with high resistance levels include wood, tungsten, air, glass and rubber.

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The formula for converting AC voltage to DC is: AC = DC/0.636. The same formula may be used to convert DC voltage into AC voltage.