Advantages & Disadvantages of AC power and DC power | Difference between AC and DC

What is an Alternating Current (AC)?

The current that such a voltage causes to flow repeatedly changes its direction and is called alternating current. It was first tested based on the principles of Michael Faraday in 1832 using a Dynamo Electric Generator.

What is Direct Current (DC)?

Direct Current (DC) is a type of electric current characterized by the consistent and unidirectional flow of electric charge within a circuit. In a DC circuit, electrons flow steadily from the positive terminal of a power source to the negative terminal, maintaining a constant direction.

Advantages & Disadvantages of AC power and DC power

There are many advantages and disadvantages of the AC system over the DC system.


(i) The generation of AC is cheaper than that of DC.

(ii) When AC is supplied at higher voltages, the transmission losses are small compared to DC transmission.

(iii) AC can easily be converted into DC with the help of rectifiers.


(i) Alternating voltages cannot be used for certain applications e.g. charging of batteries, electroplating, electric traction etc.

(ii) At high voltages, it is more dangerous to work with AC than DC.

Difference between AC and DC

Alternating CurrentDirect Current
AC is easy to transfer over longer distances – even between two cities – without much energy loss.DC cannot be transferred over a very long distance. It loses electric power.
The rotating magnets cause a change in the direction of electric flow.The steady magnetism makes DC flow in a single direction.
The frequency of AC is dependent upon the country. But, generally, the frequency is 50 Hz or 60 Hz.DC has no frequency or zero frequency.
In AC the flow of current changes its direction forward and backward periodically.It flows in a single direction steadily.
Electrons in AC keep changing their directions – backward and forward.Electrons only move in one direction –  forward.

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