The battle of AC and DC supremacy heats up as tech improves

While AC, or alternating current, won the ‘War of the Currents’ in the 1800s, most of our electronics run on DC, or direct current, electricity which requires an AC converter. Recently, though, with the increase in solar and wind power generating, and microgrids tending to run on, DC power, it is beginning to look like switching from AC to DC might make sense.

While once it was ease of transmission that made AC the standard for electricity distribution, new technology has eliminated this advantage, according to DC advocates.

Also, Bidanda said, it is now easier to use renewable energy systems, such those that use solar power, with direct, rather than alternating, current. "This is an important crossroads we're at. We're looking at an entire new paradigm in the energy cycle," he told The Prague Post. "The technical obstacles have been overcome. Now it's a question of the scale of obstacles, resistance to change, ignorance."

Developing countries could be particularly suitable for the introduction of DC as they may not be linked to national grids and can instead make use of local, even village, level alternative energy generation and distribution systems that involve direct current.

According to Bidanda, the use of direct current could become widespread in some developing countries within five years, but it could take two decades for this to happen in developed countries.

A complete changeover to DC is not however necessary to realize most of the benefits linked to this form of electricity, he said.

DC power systems are more efficient, saving users energy and energy costs. Even using a combination of AC and DC power in the home can be beneficial when it comes to the amount of energy used and utility costs. As far as the battle between AC and DC is concerned, DC is coming back with new and improved technology to make a claim for power generation and transmission superiority.

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