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|