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## AC-Current-Values

ALTERNATING CURRENT VALUES

In discussing alternating current and voltage, you will often find it necessary to express the current and voltage in terms of MAXIMUM or PEAK values, PEAK-to-PEAK values, EFFECTIVE values, AVERAGE values, or INSTANTANEOUS values. Each of these values has a different meaning and is used to describe a different amount of current or voltage.

PEAK AND PEAK-TO-PEAK VALUES

Refer to the illustration below. Notice it shows the positive alternation of a sine wave (a half-cycle of ac) and a dc waveform that occur simultaneously. Note that the dc starts and stops at the same moment as does the positive alternation, and that both waveforms rise to the same maximum value.

However, the dc values are greater than the corresponding ac values at all points except the point at which the positive alternation passes through its maximum value. At this point the dc and ac values are equal. This point on the sine wave is referred to as the maximum or peak value.

Maximum or peak values in an ac current.

During each complete cycle of ac there are always two maximum or peak values, one for the positive half-cycle and the other for the negative half-cycle. The difference between the peak positive value and the peak negative value is called the peak-to-peak value of the sine wave.

This value is twice the maximum or peak value of the sine wave and is sometimes used for measurement of ac voltages. Note thedifference between peak and peak-to-peak values in the next illustration. Usually alternating voltage and current are expressed in EFFECTIVE VALUES (a term you will study later) rather than in peak-to-peak values.

Peak and peak to peak values in an ac current.

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