Methods of Generating Electricity

There are basically two ways to generate electricity - AC, alternating current and DC, direct current. Both have their particular advantages and applications to various electrical and electronic devices, as well as how each one can be distributed. Thomas Edison pioneered DC for lighting the streets of New York City but his hired assistant, Nickola Tesla, demonstrated that AC was a better choice for transmitting power over long distances. Both alternating and direct current had been used for arc lights, and both could be used for incandescent lamps. However, in the early 1880s, motors could function effectively only on DC. There was an expectation that electricity could be stored in batteries during off-peak hours, and this was possible only with DC. Finally, there was evidence that at the same voltages, AC was more dangerous than DC. All of this led Edison to prefer a DC system.

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