Definitions for direct current

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word direct current

Princeton's WordNetRate this definition:(0.00 / 0 votes)

  1. direct current, DC, direct electric current(noun)

    an electric current that flows in one direction steadily

WiktionaryRate this definition:(0.00 / 0 votes)

  1. direct current(Noun)

    an electric circuit in which voltage and current do not vary with time

  2. direct current(Noun)

    an electric current in which the electrons flow in one direction, but may vary with time

FreebaseRate this definition:(0.00 / 0 votes)

  1. Direct current

    Direct current is the unidirectional flow of electric charge. Direct current is produced by sources such as batteries, thermocouples, solar cells, and commutator-type electric machines of the dynamo type. Direct current may flow in a conductor such as a wire, but can also flow through semiconductors, insulators, or even through a vacuum as in electron or ion beams. The electric current flows in a constant direction, distinguishing it from alternating current. A term formerly used for direct current was galvanic current. The abbreviations AC and DC are often used to mean simply alternating and direct, as when they modify current or voltage. Direct current may be obtained from an alternating current supply by use of a current-switching arrangement called a rectifier, which contains electronic elements or electromechanical elements that allow current to flow only in one direction. Direct current may be made into alternating current with an inverter or a motor-generator set. The first commercial electric power transmission used direct current. Because of the significant advantages of alternating current over direct current in transforming and transmission, electric power distribution is nearly all alternating current today. In the mid-1950s, HVDC transmission was developed, and is now an option instead of long-distance high voltage alternating current systems. For applications requiring direct current, such as third rail power systems, alternating current is distributed to a substation, which utilizes a rectifier to convert the power to direct current. See War of Currents.


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