Introduction: What is a wall mount power adapter?
Also known as a power supply or power adapter, a wall mount power adapter plugs into a standard wall outlet and converts AC power from the wall outlet to the specifications required by the device it is plugged into. The AC adapter is a box attached to a power cord, either at the middle of the power cord or at the end of the cord, where the device plugs into the wall outlet.
Many devices in your home rely on wall mount power adapters for their power source. Laptops, cell phones and cordless phones, digital frames, music equipment, video game consoles, among others.
Technology has brought us to an era in which AC adapters will become universal for all electronic devices.
How an AC wall mount power adapter works
To summarize, an AC adapter converts the electrical current received from the outlet into, generally, a lower alternating current than an electronic device can use.
Inside the wall mount power adapter are two coils of wire that wrap around an iron core. The first coil receives the 120 V alternating current from the outlet and generates an electric field in the iron core. The second coil converts the newly generated electric field into a smaller alternating current. The measurement of the resulting AC depends on the number of turns in the second coil relative to the number in the first coil. If the second coil has half turns as the first coil, the resulting alternating current will be half the value of the one entered into the adapter. Therefore, if there were 100 turns in the first coil, the second coil should only have 50.
AC / DC: the two electric currents
The abbreviation AC stands for alternating current and is used to describe the electrical currents used to carry power from power plants to homes and businesses. When drawn, these alternating currents are shown as rising and falling waves; This is because these currents do not flow with a constant value in one direction, but alternate between two directions, forward and backward.
Direct current, represented with the DC abbreviation, describes electrical currents that flow in one direction. Direct currents are mainly produced by batteries, and are mostly utilized by devices and appliances that are powered by battery.
Convert alternating current to direct current
For electronic devices that are battery operated, but can also be plugged into an electrical outlet, wall mount power adapters are required to convert alternating current to direct current. Inside the adapter box, behind the two coils and the iron core, are two rubber-wrapped diodes that convert AC to direct current. This arrangement allows current to flow in one direction.
Remember that if you travel outside the country you will have to buy converters to adapt the voltage and frequency of the currents so that they match the devices you want to use. While residents of the United States are used to receiving 120 V currents and 60 Hz frequencies, the people of Ireland receive 220 V currents and 50 Hz frequencies