A question about AC power. :)

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Lightfire, May 8, 2011.

  1. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010

    In DC, there's negative and positive there. :) In AC, there's hot/live and neutral/ground there. Is hot/live is positive and neutral/ground is negative?

    Please, thanks!!!

    Pls. say if I am wrong and correct it, pls. :D
  2. Adjuster

    Late Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    No, AC stands for "Alternating Current", and we call it that because it alternates, or changes direction continually.

    Alternating voltages swing from zero to positive and back to zero and on to negative and then back to zero again....and so on, again and again. For the mains supply, this usually happens 50 or 60 times a second (Hz), depending on where we live.

    "Live" and "neutral" are nothing to do with positive and negative in an AC system. They refer to a system joining one side of the supply to ground, generally for safety purposes.
  3. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    In the Philippines, it is 60 Hz. :)

    Like I have thought in my mind, there is no stable negative and positive there. :)
  4. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    Hot is positive and negative-- It switches back and forth (In the U.S. and the Phillipines, apparently, it switches from positive to negative and back to positive 60 times per second). Neutral is just that--Neutral. It is also known as the return. It has no charge, but only serves as a return for the current.
  5. GetDeviceInfo

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 7, 2009
    actually, neutral is as equally hot as 'hot', it just happens to be tied to ground. Dont' think for a moment that it doesn't have a potential difference to ground though.