How to Change DC Volts to AC Volts

by Pete Campbell

Direct current, or DC, is the type of power generated by batteries, including car batteries, and solar cells. Alternating current, or AC, is the form of electricity that is delivered to homes and businesses via power grids and power lines. DC power sources cannot be used to power devices built to receive AC, like toasters and televisions, but a power inverter can quickly change DC volts into usable AC volts. Power inverters are available online or at hardware and home improvement stores.

Locate a DC power source. Make sure that it is charged and capable of providing power. Common DC power source are batteries and solar cells. After identifying the DC power source, shut it down to set up the appropriate connections.

Connect the power inverter to the DC power source. If the DC source has its own connecting cables, it should plug into the inverter. If it doesn't, as is the case with most batteries, the inverter will need to be connecting by wiring the negative and positive terminals of the battery to the appropriate connections on the inverter. Follow the instructions that came with the inverter to make these connections.

Plug in the AC-powered device to the other end of the inverter. Although the exact placement will vary between inverters, look for a plug that mirrors a regular electrical outlet. Once plugged in, activate the DC power source. Turn on the AC device to make sure it is working properly.

Tip

  • check Try to keep the length of the connection between the DC power source and the inverter as short as possible to ensure optimum performance.

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About the Author

Pete Campbell has written professionally since 2006. He has covered culture, sports, literature, business and politics. He has been published in a wide range of publications, including the "Wall Street Journal." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Notre Dame.