How Do AC Power Supplies Work?

Alternating current, or AC, power supplies use electrical current that flows in both directions, instead of a single direction like direct current (DC) power. As the name implies, the opposite flows of electricity, which are actually subatomic electrons travelling along the conductive wire or material, alternate back and forth. Although the alternating flows of electrons may not be seen by the naked eye, the benefits of alternating currents are easily seen anywhere electricity is used.

AC vs. DC
Why do most electrical applications now utilize AC power supplies, as opposed to a direct current? The answer to this question starts at the source of the electricity and continues through to the electricity’s end use. Using alternating current, a power plant can distribute electricity over a much farther distance and with less electricity being lost in the process. Without AC, the proliferation of easily accessible electricity around the modern world would not have been possible.

Transforming AC Power
Another benefit of AC power supplies is that the voltage can be controlled to make it more flexible and safe for use in the diverse locations that branch off of a single power source or power line. Direct current power supplies, such as a battery, are designed for only a single voltage, and this amount cannot be changed when it is used. AC power can come out of the power plant at an extremely high voltage and, using one or more devices called transformers, the voltage can be decreased as needed when it enters a home or other space.

For many modern electrical devices and appliances, AC power is converted to a low voltage DC current using a small adapter or converter. This conversion, for example, is how the alternating current coming from a house wall outlet is able to charge the battery of a laptop computer (which uses direct current).

Cypower LLC is the most comprehensive and easiest-to-use online source for locating the AC and DC power supplies you need. They provide power supplies from the industry’s leading manufacturers and are an authorized dealer of every product they sell. Visit  to find the exact power supply you need at leading prices.


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