With the world becoming more digital, battery life is an important factor in the coming years. Having a battery that holds a longer charge has become life or death for some. Whether its a cell phone or a laptop, direct current (DC) give a better battery life for your items. Alternating currents (AC) are better for items that require to be constantly plugged in but are not as efficient with items that can operate alone after being charged. There are ways to to convert AC to DC if you want to switch your electric current.
Prepare to Convert AC to DC
The first step in converting from AC to DC is knowing what your current input is. Most homes in the western hemisphere operate on 110 to 120 volts. The eastern hemisphere volts average around 220 volts. If you produce your own electricity, these numbers may be different.
Next is learning the current that your product needs. Most products have the amount posted somewhere on the item. If not, you can find out the current by dividing the wattage by the volts. You have to be specific with this information because you can either destroy your item or it will not function. Destroying the item also runs the risk of blowing a fuse for any other item plugged into the same source.
Before operating on any electrics, be sure to have everything turned off and unplugged. Always use a surge protector. If you do not properly convert your current, you risk the possibility of shorting your power.
2 Ways to Convert AC to DC
One of the ways to convert AC to DC is to use a transformer to alter the current. There are two forms of transformers: step-up and step-down. Items are created for which country they’ll primarily be used in. Depending on what country you live in and where your product was manufactured for, dictates which one you’ll need. Be sure to pay attention to the numbers. 110v to 220v will require the step-up and the 220v to 110v will require the step-down.
Another way, and most simplest, is to use a rectifier to prevent the current from alternating. It just locks the flow of electricity going one way preventing the current from alternating. Be sure to get a rectifier and not an inverter which will do the exact opposite. The rectifier will need to be used with a smoother and regulator. Rectifiers will cause some sharp jolts in the transfer of power. The smoother is there to calm those jolts down into small ripples. Regulator turn those ripples into a smooth stream of electricity. Imagine the rectifiers as rocks in a river causing the water to swirl and crash as it goes down river. Smoother removes some of those rocks until it’s just a few disturbances in the water. The regulator gets rid of all the rocks so that river is free to flow with no ripples or disturbances.