HOME NEWS INDUSTRY NEWS AC Cable Vs. DC Cable – Can We Substitute?


AC Cable Vs. DC Cable – Can We Substitute?

So, can you use DC cables instead of their AC counterpart? Well, the answer is: It depends. The two main differences to consider, when deciding on the substitution, are Voltage and Current. The thickness and type of insulation determine the maximum voltage allowed for the application. On the other hand, the amount of current that the cable will carry will determine the thickness and type of material that the cable is made from. By way of example, it is ill-advised to substitute a cable built for a 5V, 1A DC application for an application designed to power a 220v, 5A AC device. The result? Due to excessively high current, it is likely to cause the cable to melt. This may also be a fire hazard.



So, the general principle of any such substitution of AC for DC cable is that it’s ok to do when using the substituted cable at a lower voltage than rated. However, for cables of smaller diameters, there’s no significant difference between Direct Current and low-frequency Alternating Current. In such cases, any substitution should have minimal impact on the application. If the ratings are the same, or closely similar, then substituting an AC cable with a DC one might not matter. Bottom line: Depending on the application and the environment, you might be able to use DC power cables instead of AC.  However, doing so might draw more current which leads to higher losses.