# newbee AC question

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#### megavolt

##### New Member
i know nothin plz enlighten me AC current how exactly does it work and what makes it different from ohter stuff?? u can call me a looser as long as u answer my question :lol:

#### panic mode

##### Well-Known Member
I just type in google "what is AC current" and following link came out:

#### Styx

##### Active Member

Sorry for the harsh reply but I have been dying to use this piccy in responce to a post for ages.

But a quick anaysis.

AC is "Alternating current"
DC is "Direct currect"

basically the voltage in DC is a constant level (or should be...) and equally the current drawn is fairly constant value for said circuit conditions.

The voltage in AC is sinusoidal, due to this you also get sinusoidal current For linear load (lead,lag,in-phase based on C,L,R components if any).

For non-linear load the current waveform depends on the load. Ideally you want a sinusoidal current being drawn in an AC system.

#### elec_lover

##### New Member
- In your car, ( recent car) the chassis is - the wiring is +
the middle pin of your cigarlighter is +

- In your home, the pins on your walloutlet are - + and changes to + -
and back, 60 (50) time /sec. It changes smootly

#### mozikluv

##### New Member

hi styx,

would you mind if i copy that blackboard?

thanx :lol: :shock: :wink:

#### LiquidOrb24

##### New Member
AC = Alternating Current

Basically alternating current well... alternates from positive to negative. I'm not sure if this is right but it looks like a sine wave when graphed and keeps alternating over a period of time. 60hz a second from the wall and if you do the math to find the period, that would give you how many times it goes up and down per second. Whereas DC or Direct Current doesnt alternate but instead stays at one voltage the entire time. (Thats all I know?... My God I need to learn more) sorry if this didn't help. The internet would be your best bet, just type it in to any search engine

#### Phasor

##### Member
To clarify it visually, these (roughly hand-drawn) graphs:

#### Attachments

• ac-dc.jpg
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#### Styx

##### Active Member

mozikluv said:
hi styx,

would you mind if i copy that blackboard?

thanx :lol: :shock: :wink:

be my guest. As stated been dying for ages to use it.

#### panic mode

##### Well-Known Member
Styx said:
I have been dying to use this piccy in responce to a post for ages.

Hehehe... I like it. I'm glad you got the chance...

#### ljcox

##### Well-Known Member
LiquidOrb24 said:
AC = Alternating Current

Basically alternating current well... alternates from positive to negative. I'm not sure if this is right but it looks like a sine wave when graphed and keeps alternating over a period of time. 60hz a second from the wall and if you do the math to find the period, that would give you how many times it goes up and down per second. Whereas DC or Direct Current doesnt alternate but instead stays at one voltage the entire time. (Thats all I know?... My God I need to learn more) sorry if this didn't help. The internet would be your best bet, just type it in to any search engine

This answer is essentially correct, but I would like to make 3 points.

Hertz means cycles per second so "60hz a second" is incorrect. It should simply read 60 Hz. (Note that I also changed the case. Hertz was a person, so we should use upper case)

Some of us have 50 Hz mains

AC is not necessarily sineusoidal, it can be square, triangular, or any other shape.

Len

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