What Are DC Appliances?
Electrical currents can be transmitted either by Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC). In an AC transmission, the electric current periodically reverses direction, while a DC current goes only in one direction, as its name implies. The electricity produced at power plants is generally AC, as it is easily transmitted over long distances. However, many electronic devices run on DC power, thus necessitating that the current first be switched to DC. This switch reduces efficiency- in other words, electric power is lost in the process. Solar panels, however, produce DC power, and batteries can only store DC power. So to power an AC appliance, the current would first have to be switched to AC (using an inverter), which also reduces efficiency. DC run appliances, however, can use the energy produced by the solar panel (or battery) directly, thus eliminating the need of an inverter. There are many DC appliances available today, including refrigerators & freezers and ceiling fans.