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Introduction to Alternating Current

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Introduction to Alternating Current

 Alternating Current does not flow through a conductor in the same direction as what dc does. Instead, it flows back and forth in the conductor at the regular interval, continually reversing its direction of flow and can do so very quickly. It is measured in amperes, just as dc is measured too. Remember, one coulomb of electrons is passing a given point in a conductor in one second. This definition also applies when ac is flowing- only now some of the electrons during that 1 second flow past the given point going in one direction, and the rest flow past it going in the opposite directions.


The industrial applications of alternating current are widespread. These include the many types of induction motor, ranging in size employed in wind tunnels and reclamation projects, transformer equipment used in connection with welders and many kinds of control devices, communication systems, and many others.

The advantages of ac generation are, however, apparent when it is recognized that it can be accomplished economically in large power plants where fuel and water are abundant. But nowadays, solar power is becoming popular as power plants through solar panels. Moreover, generators and associated equipment may be large, an important matter in so far as cost per kilowatt is concerned; also transmission over networks of high-voltage lines to distant load centers is entirely practicable.


In Part 2 of Learn Electrical Engineering for Beginners, you will study the nature, behavior and uses of time-varying or alternating current. You will study the for the first time two components - the inductor and the capacitor which are frequently used to control direct as well as alternating current and voltage. The resistors, in which we all know acted in such a way as to restrict the flow of current directly. In other words, the bigger the resistor you put in, the more you restrict the current flow.

 The inductor and the capacitor, on the other hand, act to control the current and voltage in different ways, and you will see that they do depends on how often the current is reversed. These three components - the resistor, inductor and the capacitor are basic elements of electric and electronic circuits.


As of now, you will not understand the meaning of the behavior of the given diagram shown above. But as we started the first topic of AC Circuits on my next post, you will appreciate and understand gradually what really mean by AC Circuits.



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