AC or DC Charging
There are two types of electricity supply and two types of charger. These are alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
There are advantages and disadvantages to both charger types. To help you make the best decision for your application, we’ve explained the differences below.
Two Types of Current
Before diving into the differences between charger types, it’s worth gaining and understanding of the differences between AC and DC.
ALTERNATING CURRENT - AC
AC is the type of power transmitted by the National Grid and what comes out of our plug sockets at home.
The direction of the charge changes periodically hence the name alternating current. In the UK, this change in direction happens 50 times per second.
The National Grid uses AC because it can be transmitted over long distances with fewer energy losses then if using DC.
DIRECT CURRENT - DC
AC Chargers for Electric Vehicles
Alternating Current chargers are currently more commonly found then DC chargers. This is in part due to their lower cost and simpler installation.
Chargers rated as “slow” or “fast” will almost always use AC.
To change the AC into the DC required by a battery, EV’s use an inbuilt convertor. This is often referred to as the “onboard charger”.
DC Chargers for Electric Vehicles
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Units 4 & 5