• anonymous
Why is alternating current more effective at long-distance travel than direct current?
  • Stacey Warren - Expert
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  • schrodinger
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  • Shikamaru11
well it seems t saves more energy or because lesser potential difference is required to transmit electricity using AC ? The method used for transmission of electricity over a wire depends on the length of the wire itself. While AC transmission is used generally, its not actually more efficient than using DC transmission. Infact DC transmission is also used in certain cases listed below. Power loss in AC transmission is more than DC especially in underwater cables, used for transmission to islands, since some power is dissipated due to the cable capacitance charging/discharging cycle with each oscillation. Also at high voltages, AC transmission induces further loses due to dielectric losses which occurs due to rapid polarization of dipoles in the wire itself changing at the frequency of AC current. Another problem with AC current is that to reduce the power loss, the wire diameter can't be arbitrarily increased due to a property of the AC current where it flows only through the outer layers of the wire called 'Skin effect'. Despite all these loses, AC Current is still used because the equipment used for stepping up/down to different voltages is simpler using transformers. DC currents require AC-DC converters for the same which are costly to manufacture for higher voltages and also have some associated loses. Only in case of high distance transmissions, does the cost of such equipment becomes validated due to savings from reduced loses.
  • Shikamaru11

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