What is DC Power Supply Used for?

By Adam Cloe Ph.D./M.D.; Updated April 24, 2017
A power supply converts household A/C electricity to D/C.

Electricity comes in two main forms: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). DC current has the flow of electricity going in only one direction (forwards), whereas AC current has the electricity going in two directions (backwards and forwards). DC current is easier for smaller devices to utilize and is the most common method of power supply for anything that runs on battery power as well.

Power supplies

Most electrical power from a wall outlet comes in alternating current form

AC to DC conversion

Alternating current must be converted to direct current (DC) by a rectifier.

Uses for DC current

DC current is commonly used to power small electronics

Electronic devices

Many devices, such as computers, stereos, and other smaller electrical appliances have their DC converting rectifier built right into the device.

Batteries

Batteries also supply a DC current, so any device that uses batteries also utilizes a DC power supply.

About the Author

Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.