What Is the Difference Between AC and DC Adapters?

Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC) adapters differ across factors, such as the amount of energy that can be carried, flow of electrons and passive parameters. According to Diffen, he most basic difference between an AC and DC adapter is that the former has rotating magnetism along the wire, while the latter has steady magnetism along the wire.

Most electronic devices, such as amps, refrigerators and washing machines, use AC adapters because they are safe to transfer over longer city distances and can provide more power than direct currents. Batteries use DC currents to power devices such as flashlights, cell phones, and laptops. As a result, AC power has to be converted into DC power before it can be used to charge a portable device.

Another difference between the two adapters is that the electrons in AC adapters can move electrons forwards and backwards. In contrast, electrons stored in DC adapters can only move in one direction. DC adapters also carry power with a frequency of zero, whereas AC power can have frequencies ranging from 50 Hertz or 60 Hertz depending upon the country. Lastly, AC adapters can transform into energy into a sinusoidal, trapezoidal, triangular or square waveform as opposed to being limited to the pure pulsating waveform of the DC adapter.