S.U.N. Report Solar Energy Blog

Solar glossary: Alternating current

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Remembering a simple term from grade school science – Alternating Current (AC).  Alternating current is a type of electric current in which the direction of the flow of electrons switches back and forth at regular intervals (shown in graph below).  Alternating current flows from power lines or transmission lines for normal household electricity.

The standard US current is 60 cycles per second, while Europe and most other parts of the world the current is 50 cycles per second.

 

How does this translate to solar power?  Solar panels produce DC power, therefore an inverter is needed to invert DC power to AC power (just like transmission lines).  AC power is the power we use to light our home and office spaces.

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