AC-DC Converter : What is an AC-DC Converter?
What is an AC-DC Converter?
An AC-DC Converter is a device that converts an AC voltage to DC voltage.
Why is an AC-DC Converter required?
Why is an AC-DC Converter necessary?
Electricity supplied to homes is typically 100V or 200V AC.
On the other hand, most electronic devices operate at 3.3V or 5V DC.
Consequently, it is necessary to convert from AC to DC voltage.
Some motors and lamps can be driven even with AC voltage, but for motors that include control circuitry (i.e. MCUs) and lamps that have switched to energy-saving LEDs, AC-DC conversion is required.
Why send AC voltage?
If most electronic products and devices are DC powered, why not send DC power from the beginning?
As you may know, electricity is generated at power plants from hydro, nuclear, and thermal sources. These power plants are often located in mountainous and coastal areas, making it more advantageous to send AC voltage to urban areas.
Simply put, transmitting high AC voltage at low current minimizes transmission (energy) loss.
However, since the high AC voltage cannot be used in the home as-is, it is transformed (stepped down) in stages via several substations before finally reaching 100V or 200V at the outlet. These transformed voltages are also sent via AC since AC is easier to transmit.