What is direct current?

We explain what direct current is and how it works. In addition, the difference between direct current and alternating current.

  1. What is direct current?

It is called direct current (DC) or direct current (CD) to a type of electric current , that is, to the flow of an electric charge through a conductive material , due to the displacement of a certain amount of electrons along its molecular structure. In the case of direct current, said electron flow is characterized by always having the same direction of circulation.

In other words, direct current  implies the continuous transit of an electric charge  between two points of the conductor that have different electric potential and charge, so that it never changes over time.

This refers above all to the polarity of the charge, not to its intensity: an electrical source that is depleted (such as a battery with little charge) remains continuous if the direction of the electric flow does not change: always from the positive to the negative pole ( assigned by convention).

Every electrical circuit has these poles (positive and negative) and usually distinguishes them through colors (red and black, respectively), to prevent the electrical source from entering upside down and there is an inversion in polarity, which would damage the circuit.

That is why the batteries of a device must be in the correct polar order to work, because there is a transformer-rectifier that prevents inverted electrical flow.

In physical (theoretical) terms, the voltage of a direct current is represented on an x ​​/ y axis (voltage over time), as a straight line and without variations of any kind.

  1. Difference between direct current and alternating current

alternating current
Alternating current is characterized by a regular and cyclic variation of its magnitude.

Unlike the direct current, which has the same polar direction in its energy flow, alternating current ( AC ) is characterized by a regular and cyclical variation in its magnitude and direction in time.

This is the type of current that usually reaches homes and is used for various domestic functions , since it is much easier to transform than direct current, using transformers that allow to raise the electrical voltage efficiently.

The direct current can be transformed into alternating current using a current inverter: which manages to change one type of electricity for another using a series of transformers, at various voltage and frequency levels.

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