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Alternating Current

# Alternating Current

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04/27/2014

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# Alternating Current

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History
 The first alternator to produce alternating current was a dynamo electric generator based on Michael Faraday's principles constructed by the French instrument maker Hippolyte Pixii in 1832.  A power transformer developed by Lucien Gaulard and John Dixon Gibbs was demonstrated in London in 1881, and attracted the interest of Westinghouse. They also exhibited the invention in Turin in 1884, where it was adopted for an electric lighting system. Many of their designs were adapted to the particular laws governing electrical distribution in the UK. In 1882, 1884, and 1885 Gaulard and Gibbs applied for patents on their transformer; however, these were overturned due to prior arts of Nikola Tesla and actions initiated by Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti.  William Stanley, Jr. designed one of the first practical devices to transfer AC power efficiently between isolated circuits. Using pairs of coils wound on a common iron core, his design, called an induction coil, was an early transformer.

the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction. as when they modify current or voltage.Alternating Current (AC)  Alternating current (AC) electricity is the type of electricity commonly used in homes and businesses throughout the world. While direct current (DC) electricity flows in one direction through a wire. . also ac). The abbreviations AC and DC are often used to mean simply alternating anddirect. AC electricity alternates its direction in a back-and-forth motion. also dc). depending on the electrical system of the country. the flow of electric charge is only in one direction. The direction alternates between 50 and 60 times per second.  In alternating current (AC. In direct current (DC.

Since opposite charges attract. This movement is made easier in an electrical conductor. they will move toward an area consisting of positive (+) charges. such as a metal wire. .Difference between AC and DC electricity  Electrons have negative (−) electrical charges.

according to the electrical system in the country.Rate of Change  AC electricity alternates back-and-forth in direction 50 or 60 times per second. . This is called the frequency and is designated as either 50 Hertz (50Hz) or 60 Hertz (60Hz).

Thus a light bulb can be used with either AC or DC electricity. They don't care if the electrons flow through the wire or simply move back-and-forth. .Light Bulbs  Many electrical devices—like light bulbs—only require that the electrons move.

similar to that of a pendulum.  Because of this periodic motion of the electrons. alternating between positive (+) and negative (−). the voltage and current follow a sine waveform. .Ac is Periodic Motion  The regular back-and-forth motion of the electrons in a wire when powered by AC electricity is periodic motion.  The rate that the voltage or current peaks pass a given point is the frequency of the AC electricity. as measured with a voltmeter or multimeter.

The ability to readily transform voltages is the main reason we use AC instead of DC in our homes. .Advantages of AC Electricity  There are distinct advantages of AC over DC electricity.

 Since high voltages are more effecient for sending electricity great distances. while it is difficult to do that with DC voltages.  Changing voltages is done by the use of a transformer. AC electricity has an advantage over DC. This is because the high voltages from the power station can be easily reduced to a safer voltage for use in the house. This device uses properties of AC electromagnets to change the voltages .Transforming of Voltage  The major advantage that AC electricity has over DC electricity is that AC voltages can be readily transformed to higher or lower voltage levels.

.  A combination of a capacitor. These devices can affect the way the alternating current passes through a circuit. Without those devices. tuning to different stations would be very difficult. inductor and resistor is used as a tuner in radios and televisions.Tuning Circuits  AC electricity also allows for the use of a capacitor and inductor within an electrical or electronic circuit. They are only effective with AC electricity.

lights and computers. the current alternates in direction. . opening a wide range of applications. In AC electricity. primarily because the voltages can be transformed. AC electricity was proven to be better for supplying electricity than DC. AC also allows for other devices to be used.Summary  We commonly use AC electricity to power our television.

An AC voltage v can be described mathematically as a function of time by the following equation: Where: • is the peak voltage (unit: volt). by the equation . which represents the number of cycles per second. • is the angular frequency (unit: radians per second) • The angular frequency is related to the physical frequency.Mathematics of AC Voltages  Alternating currents are accompanied (or caused) by alternating voltages. • is the time (unit: second). (unit = hertz). .

Since the maximum value of is +1 and the minimum value is −1. The peak-to-peak voltage. is therefore . The peak-to-peak value of an AC voltage is defined as the difference between its positive peak and its negative peak. . usually written as or . an AC voltage swings between and .

written as .Power and Root mean Square The relationship between voltage and the power delivered is where represents a load resistance. AC voltage is often expressed as a root mean square (RMS) value. because . Therefore. . it is more practical to use a time averaged power (where the averaging is performed over any integer number of cycles). Rather than using instantaneous power.

which varies for different waveforms.  For a triangle waveform centered about zero .For a sinusoidal voltage: The factor is called the crest factor.

 For a square waveform centered about zero  For an arbitrary periodic waveform of period : .

at about 650 V. we can rearrange the above equation to: For our 230 V AC. It is so called because its root mean square value is 230 V. . To determine the peak voltage (amplitude). The peak-to-peak value of the 230 V AC is double that. the peak voltage is therefore . consider a 230 V AC mains supply used in many countries around the world. This means that the time-averaged power delivered is equivalent to the power delivered by a DC voltage of 230 V. which is about 325 V.Example: To illustrate these concepts.

Illustration of (AC) .

Sample Problem: What is the peak-to-peak voltage of the waveform in the given circuit? [A].8 V .2 V [B].4 V [C].6 V [D].

Another values: Highest Peak voltage value = 10v. Therefore. Peak-to-peak = 10 .(-5) = 15 volts. Highest Peak voltage value = -10v.In the given Sine wave. Therefore. Peak-to-peak = (-10) .2 = 8 volts. Lowest Peak voltage value = -5v. Lowest Peak voltage value = 2v.(-2) = -10 + 2 = -8 = 8 volts. Lowest Peak voltage value = -2v. Peak-to-peak = 10 . Highest Peak voltage value = 10v. Therefore. .

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