AC System Characteristics

  • Stig NilssonEmail author
  • Manfredo Lima
  • David J. Young
Living reference work entry

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Part of the CIGRE Green Books book series (CIGREGB)


Electric power has become indispensable to most people in the world. It is transmitted either as direct current (DC) or as alternating current (AC). DC power is used to transfer large blocks of electric power at high voltage levels over long overhead lines or through underground or undersea cables. A significant amount of the AC power delivered to consumers is converted to DC before it is used to operate power electronic devices and various industrial processes, but DC power cannot be transformed to a higher or lower DC voltage level without first being converted to AC in an intermediate step. Consequently, AC power has become the dominating technology for transmitting and distributing the generated electric power to the end users.

This chapter discusses the basic characteristics of AC electric power generation, transmission, and utilization. In order to do this, the fundamental scientific discoveries and concepts are presented, and some of the engineers and scientists and their contributions to the development of electric power systems are also discussed.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical Engineering Practice, ExponentSedonaUSA
  2. 2.Electrical Engineering Practice, ChesfRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Pernambuco UniversityRecifeBrazil
  4. 4.ConsultantStaffordUK

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