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Alternating Current. Electricity Lesson 11. Learning Objectives. To know what is meant by alternating current. To know how to calculate the rms value of an alternating current. To know how to calculate the power supplied by an alternating current. Recap.

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Alternating current

Alternating Current

Electricity Lesson 11


Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

To know what is meant by alternating current.

To know how to calculate the rms value of an alternating current.

To know how to calculate the power supplied by an alternating current.


Recap
Recap

What is the difference between an alternating current and a direct current?

 phet simulation (AC connected to 1 ohm resistor).


Definition
Definition

From the specification book:-

An alternating current (ac) is a current that repeatedly reverses its direction.


Questions
Questions

What is frequency? What is the unit of frequency?

What is the frequency of mains electricity?

Calculate the period of mains electricity.


Answers
Answers

Frequency is the number of cycles per second.

The unit of frequency is the hertz (Hz)

Mains electricity is an alternating current with a frequency of 50 Hz  too fast to notice flickering.


Peak value
Peak Value

  • The peak value of an alternating current (or pd) is the maximum current (or pd) which is the same in either direction.

  • One complete alternation is called a cycle (NOT wavelength).

  • The graph is called a sinusoidal waveform or a sine wave.


Peak current
Peak Current

  • This depends on the peak pd and the components in circuit.

  • If the peak pd was 260 V and the resistance of the components in the circuit is 56 Ω, what would the peak current be?


Peak current1
Peak Current

  • This depends on the peak pd and the components in circuit.

  • If the peak pd was 260 V and the resistance of the components in the circuit is 56 Ω, what would the peak current be?



Important physics ideas
Important Physics Ideas

  • Conservation of energy (power in=power out).

  • Faraday's law of induction (changing magnetic field induces a electric current).

  • Ampere’s law (electric current passing through a wire results in magnetic field around it).


Why do we use ac1
Why do we use ac?

  • Power dissipated in the wires =I2/R.

  • So we want to transmit electricity using low I.

  • Transformers can be used to change the pd of ac.

  • Power going into transformer = Power going out of transformer (Pi = Po) (IiVi=IoVo).

  • An electric current only gets induced in a wire when there is a changing magnetic field.

  • There is only a changing magnetic field if there is a changing electric field i.e. alternating pd.


Observing ac
Observing AC

  • An oscilloscope can be used to display the waveform of the alternating pd from a signal generator.  Demo

  • What effect does increasing the output pd have?

  • What effect does increasing the frequency have?



Heating effect of ac
Heating Effect of AC

  • Imagine a heater connected to an ac supply.

  • It would repeatedly heat up then cool down.

  • The power, P, supplied to a heater of resistance R:-

  • Recall that direction of the current doesn’t matter so the power supplied varies with the square of the current.


Heating effect of ac1
Heating Effect of AC

  • When I is at its maximum, I0, max. power is supplied.

  • When I is zero, zero power is supplied.

  • The mean power supplied:-

  • This is from the symmetrical shape of the power curve.


Root mean square value
Root Mean Square Value

  • The root mean square value of an alternating current is the value of direct current that would give the same heating effect as the alternating current in the same resistor.


Question 1
Question 1

  • What is the rms voltage of an ac mains with a peak voltage of 325 V?

  • What would be the power supplied to a 70 ohm resistor?


Answer
 Answer

  • Vrms = 325 / √2 = 230 V


Root mean square value1
Root Mean Square Value

  • The values of voltage and current are constantly changing in AC, unlike in DC in which they are steady.  We can measure AC voltages in two ways:-

  • Measure the peak to peak voltage, easily done on a cathode ray oscilloscope (CRO).

  • Measure the root mean square (rms) value, or the effective value.

  • We use the rms value because its use allows us to do electrical calculations as if they were direct currents. 



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