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DC Full Form

Sudeshna chakrabartiUpdated On: September 25, 2023 09:59 am IST

DC full form is Direct Current and it refers to unidirectional current flow. A DC can flow through both conductors as well as semiconductors and even a vacuum. Unlike AC, full form of which is Alternate Current, it maintains a constant direction. An AC or alternate current can be transformed into DC using a rectifier containing electric elements. On the other hand, to convert a direct current into an alternate current, inverters are mainly used.

DC is used in a host of electronic devices as it generates power faster. It is widely used in phone battery chargers, electrical vehicles, TV etc. Besides its use in household appliances, it has remarkable applications in industries whereby electrical energy produced by DC is used in smelting various electrochemical processes. 

If you wish to enhance your knowledge on DC, go through this article as it offers you great insight into the uses, characteristics, importance and disadvantages of Direct Current.


What is the Full Form of DC?

As mentioned earlier, DC's full form is Direct Current which is the direct flow of current to a power system. Electric circuits that make use of a DC solution will experience a constant flow of voltage and current. This form of current has uses across several industries and you will be amazed to learn that DC is adopted in railways.

Transmission of large-scale power from remote generation sites is possible only through high-voltage direct current. One of the primary reasons to use DC in various domains is its consistency in voltage delivery. Well, it won't be wrong to say that despite the multiple advantages of DC, both AC and DC systems are necessary for generating power systems, and one of them can’t be ignored. 

What are the Properties of Direct Current?

To better understand the functions of a direct current, it's important to learn about its specific characteristics. Let’s check out some of the unique properties of a DC that make it an effective power system.

  • In a DC system, electrons flow from areas with high electron density to areas where the density of electrons is comparatively lower.
  • Transistors can amplify AC signals only because direct current can establish stable electrical conditions.
  • Electrical transmission to a longer distance is challenging as voltage in DC is a bit challenging and expensive to change.
  • Devices working on batteries and USB cables are highly dependent on direct current for a smooth power supply.

How is DC different from an AC System?

AC and DC are simply forms of electricity, however, the difference lies in their characteristics, especially waveform. If we try studying the waveform of both these currents in the form of a chart, we will come across a stable line whereas AC will show a square due to a lot of variations. A major factor that differentiates direct current from alternating current is the direction of flow. Direct Current which is DC’s full form moves in one direction whereas AC changes two directions while flowing into devices. 

Here’s a list of some other contrasting factors which we have represented in a table. 

AC Full Form Alternate Current

DC Full Form Direct Current

The AC keeps changing directions periodically.

DC is an unidirectional current flowing constantly in the same direction. 

It is easy to transfer over long distances without any power interruption.

While transferring current beyond limited frequency can lead to power loss.

Frequency of AC is dependent on the country and it varies between 50-60Hz.

Direct current has no frequency.

Movement of electrons is forward and backward.

The electrons move in a single direction.

Why Use Direct Current?

Are you wondering about the possible benefits of using a DC system? A direct current system is used across various sectors to generate power because of its following advantages.

  • A DC-generated device will hardly face any synchronizing or stability issues as power flows without disruptions.
  • To generate power through direct current, comparatively less conductor material is required because only two weirs are needed for power transmission.
  • DC transmission is devoid of any capacitance therefore incidences of power loss are negligible due to the charging current.
  • If we compare both current sources in terms of voltage regulation, undoubtedly DC will be the winner.
  • While transmitting DC in any device, problems like phase displacement, inductance or surge issues never occur
  • Dielectric losses are well managed at the time of high-voltage DC transmission.

Processes to Convert DC to AC Current & AC to DC

DC proves to be better compared to alternate current and the major reason is it allows power transmission over longer distances. Well, to run some applications it is necessary to convert direct current into alternate current or viec verse. In this section, you will gain insight into the process of this conversion.

Converting AC to DC

  1. Diode rectifier: With the help of a diode rectifier conversion from AC to DC is carried out. A diode is used for letting the current move in a unidirectional pattern.
  2. Chopper: it's a kind of complex circuit that makes it possible to transform alternating current to direct current. A transistor is used for switching current without any delay, leading to DC formation.
  3. Power supply via a switch: It is perhaps the most convenient and effective process to convert alternating current into direct current. In this process, a transistor is used to turn the power on and off resulting in high-frequency AC output. The resultant AC helps in converting DC with a diode rectifier.

DC to AC Conversion process:

  1. Inverter: AC is formed by using a transistor that helps in switching on and off the power without delay which ultimately converts AC into DC.
  2. Linear Amplifier: It is a complex circuit that converts DC to AC. To amplify the AC signal, a transistor is used that creates large-scale AC output.

Disadvantages of Using a DC System

Undoubtedly, the DC system offers a host of benefits, however, it too has certain loopholes as happens with any electrical system. 

  • Devices using direct current systems face issues in functioning during high-voltage 
  • While transmitting power to greater distances is not possible as a huge investment is required for buying equipment like inverters or rectifiers for power transmission.
  • The DC switchgear is both expensive and comes with a lot of limitations hence, is not fit to use. 

DC power system despite its loopholes is regarded as the best source to operate domestic applications and is also used in solar power systems as this power system uses an unidirectional form of power transmission. 


What is DC full form?

DC full form is Direct Current and is referred to as an unidirectional flow of power.


Can DC be converted into AC?

Yes, a DC system can be converted into AC with the help of inverters.


Which devices use a DC system?

DC is used by flashlights, flat TVs, mobile chargers and washing machines.


Can DC flow in vacuum?

Unlike alternate current, a direct current can flow across conductors, semiconductors and vacuum.


Which industries use DC?

  • Automotive
  • Telecommunications
  • Construction