AC vs DC Power: All the Pros and Cons for Your Business Needs

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Thanks to the marvels of our constantly advancing and eternally impressive technological advancements, flicking on a light switch or plugging in a laptop is even simpler than primitive tasks like combing your hair or putting on clothes. 

But when you’re in business, power is even more useful than keeping the lights on.  A stable, reliable supply of electricity keeps your operations safe and productive, keeps you in touch with your customers, streamlines your operations, and keeps those profits flowing as consistently as the power to your computers, machines and premises.

Digging a little deeper, though, reveals the true marvel of power. Because while the power to your power-points is AC, the power delivered to your computers, phones and other electronic devices and equipment is much more likely to be DC. Why’s that? What’s the difference? And why does it matter for your business?

Let’s dive in:

AC versus DC

If your knowledge of AC/DC extends a little further than the rock’n’roll band, let’s start right from the beginning: the difference between the acronyms.

AC stands for alternating current, which can both change direction and magnitude, while DC is direct current – an electrical charge that is one-directional.

Thomas Edison famously pioneered DC, but it ultimately proved difficult to convert into either the lower voltages required for the end-user.

Luckily, Nikola Tesla was busily experimenting with AC, which ‘alternates’ multiple times with each blink of the eye – and the rest is history.

In fact, the power supplied to every home and business across the world runs on the Tesla principle, which is generally understood to be an easier and more reliable way to transmit power across long distances.

DC, though, is easier to manage and store locally, especially with the delicate workings and ultra-thin wiring of most applications and devices familiar with the DC power connectors you use both at home and work.

AC: The pros and cons

As well as being better for transmitting electricity from its source to the user, AC power is easily ‘stepped up’ or ‘stepped down’ from lower or higher voltages, including the more stable and precise DC requirements of most of the devices we use power for. AC generators and motors are also quite significantly simpler and cheaper than their DC counterparts.

However, despite the simplicity and the other benefits, AC tends to interfere with other communication lines, including harmonics problems that electrical operations that are erratic and difficult to diagnose and remedy.

DC: The pros and cons

Transmitting DC power requires only one or two smaller conductors, and there are also fewer issues in terms of capacitance, phase displacement, inductance and even power surging. That means less insulation is needed for the same voltage as AC, while interference with other systems is also lower.

However, DC voltage is unable to be ‘stepped up’, unlike the much more versatile AC. In practice, that means a 240-volt device requires DC power delivered at precisely 240 volts, with any additional resistors or instruments to reduce the voltage only complicating the arrangement and wasting energy in the process.

Why it matters for your business

In a nutshell, that’s essentially why your business may be in the market for a DC power connector, which enables your small to medium devices to receive the precise power requirements via the AC source.

As a result, there are countless DC power connectors out there to enable safe, secure, efficient and reliable energy for your business needs, so talk to an expert today to match the right choice to your precise requirements.

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