5 Fun Facts About AC and DC Voltage

September 26, 2016

ac and dc voltage

Modern society and all of our lives are run by electricity and power. But modern-day appliances and devices all use different power sources and voltages and it sure gets confusing , but do not worry , just take a look at our old voltage article to get a good idea of how everything works.

Here's a few more cool facts about AC and DC voltage that you may not know about.

1. Voltage And Home Insulation Safety   

In the houses and buildings that we see every day, ultra high voltages are not used because when the voltage is very high, there is the danger that it will arc and shock right through the insulation causing danger. To keep wiring in buildings economical and cost-efficient , voltage must be limited.


2. When Experiencing A Electrical Shock, It Is The Total Power That Is Lethal

If you are shocked with 10,000 volts @ 0.01 amp ( = 100W ) , the shock is essentially the same as 100 volts @ 1 amp. If you are shocked with either of the previous mentioned scenarios , both will mostly likely not hurt you , but nevertheless , the shocking feeling will definitely not be pleasant. A higher voltage does help accelerate the shock to penetrate into your insulated skin deeper, this would bring the shock deeper inside your more conductive parts to cause more damage and pain.

3. AC To DC Is Cheap And Efficient 

Rectifying AC to DC is really simple and low cost. This can be used to generate DC power from a spinning generator. There are also other methods to generate DC directly and photovoltaic solar panels already produce DC (and are currently converted to AC through a grid tied inverter circuits for use on the grid). 


4. Superconductors Have No Transmission Loss

Superconducting DC power lines are a thing of the future and currently starting to gain traction. High temperature resistant superconductors are a holy grail for modern engineers, these engineers extreme of being able to perfectly execute a efficient power transfer using a temperature wire. 

Data shows that 6% of all power generated in the US are lost to inefficiency during travel and transmission. Even 10 years ago , that would have equaled to 250 million megawatt hours, which is worth about $20 billion in monetary value. Hence the reason why we are seeing a future that is fully powered by direct current ( DC )

as for conductor research and development pictures, it will be scientifically possible to make all long-distance power lines using a superconductor.

5. Most Of Our Modern Devices Actually Use DC

Very few of our modern devices or appliances use AC power as a power source, they all convert to DC via a rectifier. ( Like a phone charger ) Only heating elements and other appliances with motors use an AC voltage (toaster, hair dryer, vacuum, lower end cooling devices, etc). These are usually high wattage appliances. Even motorized devices have now started making their own DC bus to use with a DC motor (newer shavers and the like) or to turn into AC for a variable speed ac motor (high end fridges, newer HVAC systems, etc. ) 


DC voltage is a simple positive and negative type of electricity, power storage is usually in DC. With the future being mobile and compact, we can actually see DC becoming the voltage of choice. In the very distant future, when superconductors have gained traction and an efficient way of transmitting DC voltage is in place. A DC grid would be ideal and we may be able to live in a 100% efficient power grid.

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