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How is alternating current (AC) generated?   Please provide a more advanced-level...

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Wilson2014 | eNotes Employee

Posted May 10, 2013 at 9:39 PM via web

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How is alternating current (AC) generated?

 

Please provide a more advanced-level answer. 

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crmhaske | College Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted May 10, 2013 at 11:15 PM (Answer #3)

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Alternating current differs from direct current in that the current does not always travel in the same direction.  Rather, the direction of the flow of electrical charge changes on a periodic basis.  AC generators produce alternating currents by placing a rotating conductor, called an armature, between two magnetic poles.  When the conductor cuts the magnetic flux lines created between the two magnetic poles a voltage is created.  The direction the conductor crosses the magnetic flux lines affects the charge: one direction creates a positive charge, while the other will create a negative charge.  Slip rings on the ends of the wires of the conductor move against brushes as the conductor rotates allowing the current to be transmitted into the AC circuit.

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