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Wiring Fundamentals: DC and AC

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DC and AC


00:00 - The terms DC and AC are short for direct current, and alternating current.
00:05 What these terms refer to is the direction the current in our circuit is flowing.
00:09 In a DC circuit, the current direction is always the same.
00:12 The amount of current flowing might change, but the direction will always be constant.
00:17 In an AC circuit, both the amount of current flowing and the direction of flow can change or alternate.
00:23 From the previous modules, we have an understanding of how current will flow in response to an applied voltage.
00:29 Much like the water in our plumbing pipe will flow a higher pressure to a lower pressure, a current will flow from a high voltage to a low voltage.
00:38 If we swap which ends of our wire are connected to the battery positive and negative, the current will flow through the wire in the other direction.
00:45 This sounds simple, and it is, that's really all there is to it.
00:49 If we reverse the direction or polarity our voltage is applied in, the resulting current flow will also change direction.
00:56 The large majority of automotive electrical systems are DC.
00:59 But it's worth having a brief understanding of AC circuits.
01:02 Particularly later on when we come to discussing engine speed sensors.

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