- #1

FranzDiCoccio

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- TL;DR Summary
- I think I understand the basics of why AC prevailed over DC, but I'm not sure how exactly the "basic" argument applies to the current generated by Edison's dynamos

So, if I get it right, the basic argument goes like this: AC was preferred to DC because its voltage can be stepped up by a transformer. This limits losses while the current is transported from the production plant to the final user. The voltage is subsequently stepped down when delivered to the user.

Of course, this cannot work with a (trivially uniform) direct current.

But Edison used dynamos, so I expect that his current was direct in the sense that it always flowed in the same direction, but pulsed, i.e. time dependent. This would not prevent the use of transformers to step up the voltage, transport the current and step it down again, would it?

So what was the problem there? Did Edison just refuse the whole high voltage idea, although possible?

Or am I wrong on the current generated by Edison's dynamos? I'm thinking something working along the lines of this nice "vintage" animation by W. Fendt (case "with commutator").

Maybe this is too naive, and Edison did actually generate a constant, or almost constant current by using a more complex apparatus?

I tried to imagine a dynamo generating a constant direct current. I guess this would be in principle possible with a conducting rod rotating about the axis of an axysimmetric magnetic field.

Thanks a lot for any insight

Francesco

Of course, this cannot work with a (trivially uniform) direct current.

But Edison used dynamos, so I expect that his current was direct in the sense that it always flowed in the same direction, but pulsed, i.e. time dependent. This would not prevent the use of transformers to step up the voltage, transport the current and step it down again, would it?

So what was the problem there? Did Edison just refuse the whole high voltage idea, although possible?

Or am I wrong on the current generated by Edison's dynamos? I'm thinking something working along the lines of this nice "vintage" animation by W. Fendt (case "with commutator").

Maybe this is too naive, and Edison did actually generate a constant, or almost constant current by using a more complex apparatus?

I tried to imagine a dynamo generating a constant direct current. I guess this would be in principle possible with a conducting rod rotating about the axis of an axysimmetric magnetic field.

Thanks a lot for any insight

Francesco