AC power alters its direction with time, while DC power remains constant. Furthermore, AC power oscillates at 60 Hz frequency whereas DC power has Zero frequency.
The main advantage of an AC power over DC is that it can be transmitted over long distances at higher voltages using transformers with low losses and can easily be converted to DC if needed in any particular applications.
The most important differences between AC Power and DC Power are explained on the basis of time, frequency, transmission, supply sources, storage, power factor, generation, and applications.The following table explains the key differences between AC and DC Power.
Difference between AC and DC Power
Characteristics AC Power DC Power
Originator Nikola Tesla Thomas Edison
Voltage and Current Changes over time Remains constant as it does not depend on time
Frequency Has a frequency (either 50 Hz or 60 Hz depends upon the location) Zero frequency
Transmission It can be transmitted, with certain losses, over long distances Can be transmitted, with trivial losses, over long distances (favorable for long distance transmission)
Supply System Can be single phase and three phase Single phase ONLY
Storage Cannot be stored (dynamic entity) Can be stored in batteries and cells for later use
Generation Produced by generators Produced by batteries, cells
Power factor Ranges between 0 and 1 because of resistive and reactive components. Always 1 because of resistive component only.
Load Type Resistive, Inductive, and Capacitive loads run by AC ONLY resistive loads run by DC
Application Mainly used for motors, lights and to transmit electricity Primarily used in electronic devices, electroplating, electrolysis, and DC operated drives