Electrical energy is a common type of energy that can be used for many different purposes in homes and workplaces. In the future, perhaps all buildings and workplaces will be able to generate their electrical energy using solar cells or wind turbines. However, today, in most of the world, the electrical energy produced by thermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear power plants meets the need. Since the electrical energy produced in the power plants and transmitted to the cities and industrial areas for the use of people is produced in a circular motion, it is in the form of a sine curve and the electrical signals in this form are called alternating current or A.C. But do you know why we use AC? Are there any advantages of AC?
When you take a look at the items below, you will better understand the benefits of AC.
Advantages of alternating current (AC)
The benefits of alternating current (AC) are:
Easy to step-up
Today, electrical energy has a wide range of uses. High voltage is required to economically transmit large amounts of electrical energy over long distances. In direct current systems, it is impossible to obtain a high voltage above a certain value for various reasons. Alternating current generators can be made to produce higher voltages than direct current generators. Alternating voltage can be easily increased or decreased with transformers.
Easy to step-down
The increased energy also needs to be reduced for measurement and usage purposes. Thanks to the alternating current, it is also possible to measure and use the energy with high accuracy. Alternating current energy meters and home appliances can be produced in small sizes.
The efficiency of alternating current generators is over 95%, and their power is greater than direct current generators. Thus, larger production units can be established and the efficiency of the turbine generator system increases as the efficiency of the turbines increases at high rotation numbers.
Multi-phase alternating current asynchronous motors are easy to produce and are about half the cost of an equivalent direct current motor.
Besides, AC motors require much less maintenance than direct current motors.
Conversion to direct current is easy
The direct current used is first produced as an alternating current. Alternating current is brought close to the place of use and is converted to direct current with rectifiers or motor-generator groups. Although alternating current can easily be converted to direct current with rectifiers, it is not so easy to convert direct current to alternating current. Moreover, converting AC to DC is cheaper than converting DC to AC.
Small cable diameters
A.C voltage is generated in power plants with the help of big alternators. This A.C voltage is increased by transformers to reduce the losses that may occur in transmission lines. When the voltage is increased and the current is decreased, the diameters of the conductors used in transmission lines are also reduced.
Heat energy generation
To talk about the heat effect of electrical energy, it is first necessary to dwell on the resistances of the conductors. Each conductor has a resistance associated with the diameter, length, and resistivity of the material from which it is made. When the electric current passes through this conductor, if the conductor shows too much difficulty for the current, this difficulty generates heat energy in the conductor. Alternating current is used not only in conventional heating devices but also in arc furnaces and induction furnaces operating with three-phase current.
In the AC system, we get three phases, which is a desirable property as we can feed different areas with different phases, and if any problem occurs only in a single phase then the other two will keep on working and total power cut will not occur in all areas connected to the same supply.
With AC, it is really easy and safe to interrupt the current due to the current going to zero naturally every 1/2 cycle. For example, a circuit breaker can interrupt about 1/20th as much DC as AC. Also, AC generates less electrical arc when interrupting the current.