Do you know where the nearest power plant is?

Direct current is easy to understand because there’s a constant voltage that wants to push charge through a circuit in a single direction. But if DC is so simple, why does the world use AC to power our homes and offices?

Back in the late 1800’s this was not decided at all and depending on where you lived, you might actually have DC supplied to your home. The reason AC finally won is because of two reasons.

First, we don’t want high voltages in our houses. 240 volts in some parts of the world is high enough.

And second, electric companies are in business to make money and that means they don’t want to waste resources by losing power in the power lines. If power is being used anywhere, the electric company wants somebody else to be paying for it. They don’t want to be paying themselves to warm up birds perched on the lines.

Make sure to listen to the full episode for the full explanation of how AC solved these issues.