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Difference Between AC Charger and DC Charger

Main Difference

The main difference between AC and DC chargers is that AC chargers are supplied with alternating current, that is, the current switches back and forth. This is the main reason why we have AC current, in the electricity lines, at our homes. On the contrary, DC chargers are supplied with direct current, that is, the current does not shift or switch back and forth. In DC chargers, It is simply the positive and negative type of current. So, precisely, AC current chargers are a bit complicated than DC current chargers.

AC Charger vs. DC Charger

When purchasing chargers for a device there are two types of chargers’ available, AC charger and DC charger. While they may sound same they have a different variety of functions. AC charger or alternating current technically means an electric current that reverses direction in a circuit at regular time periods. The time period of the current is measured in cycles per second or hertz. A DC charger or direct current on the other hand means an electric current which flows in one direction only therefore it flows constantly without any interruption and hence no change from positive to negative poles or frequency. An AC charger is used to convert one AC voltage into another AC voltage. A DC charger differs from an AC charger in that the DC charger converts AC electricity into DC electricity. Both AC and DC chargers are rated for maximum power output in watts. AC and DC chargers are rated using similar units and technology but the output of both of them is different. AC charger can damage and destroy technological devices which were designed for DC chargers because of its constantly reversing electric current whereas similarly DC chargers will also case excess heat in such electrical components which are suited for AC chargers thus causing them to be damaged and destroyed. Due to the reversing of electric current that is back and forth, we have AC current in all our electricity lines used in our homes whereas on the other hand to charge bigger electrical appliances AC current is converted to DC current and is then DC charger is used because of its constant electric current nature. This makes AC charger to be more complicated then DC charger.


Comparison Chart

BasisAC ChargerDC Charger
CapacityCharges the battery in a shorter time periodCharges the battery in a longer time period
UsageOutlets and power sockets are very convenient and easy to useCharging units have special outlet for more power production.
Current TypeGives an alternating current to the device meaning the current keeps switching back and forthCan supply a constant voltage or current to the battery and it does not change its direction.
LocationMostly used in homesMostly used in businesses

What is AC Charger?

AC charger is supplied with alternating current that keeps changing its direction that is switching back and forth at regular time intervals. AC chargers are simply a type of external source of current, it is fitted in a case which is made of plastic to avoid the current coming out. They are battery operated and when they are plugged in a socket, they are used to charge the battery when the battery is finished. The time used to charge the device depends on the device usually and all on the AC chargers that they are of good quality. AC chargers contain a transformer which transforms the electricity voltage coming from main line to a lower voltage and it also contains a stabilizer which converts it to direct current. They are used largely to charge big and small, portable and non-portable electrical appliances. The current in the AC charger usually depends on how big the device is.


What is DC Charger?

DC chargers are supplied with a direct current that is the current stays constant and does not shift back and forth. DC chargers are just simply chargers. They do not have built in regulators or rectifiers to convert the electric current. It has filtering components; these components keep a check on stability of the direct current. DC chargers are basically simple chargers. DC chargers do not change their result on the basis of the time duration for which the battery has been put to charge. Technically all batteries are charged by DC adapters. Most common examples of these are your hand held mobile phones, your tablets and laptops and many other daily use devices and appliances.


Key Differences

  1. AC chargers charge the battery in a shorter time period whereas on the other hand a DC charger takes a longer time period to fully charge the battery.
  2. AC outlets and power sockets are very convenient and easy to use, While DC charging units have special outlet for more power production.
  3. AC chargers give an alternating current to the device meaning the current keeps switching back and forth whereas DC chargers can supply a constant voltage or current to the battery and it does not change its direction.
  4. The expected life of an AC charged battery is greater than a DC charged battery which makes AC chargers more potent.
  5. AC chargers are used more in homes as compared to the DC chargers.
  6. AC chargers can damage or destroy some electricity circuits, which are specially designed for DC chargers.
  7. DC chargers can cause excess heat in some electrical appliances which can destroy them, as compared to the AC chargers.


There are different types of phone chargers which we use but don’t know much about them. This article has therefore given a good look at the two main types, AC and DC charges which are very different from each other even though they perform the same task. Hopefully, after reading the article this problem would be cleared.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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