Who Owns Alternating Current?
Nikola Tesla Versus George Westinghouse
In the early years of electricity, direct current which was created and promoted by Thomas Edison, was the standard system of electricity. Later alternating current was proposed and replaced DC since it provided electricity in far distances. In a DC system a power plant was needed to keep transferring power and the existence of an AC system made abundant power plants a thing of the past. Now that we've gone through with that, who takes the credit for creating such an incredible system?
Inventions on the AC Power System
George Westinghouse along with William Stanley and Oliver B. Shallenberger developed a commercial AC power system. This is one of the reasons why AC triumphed over DC. Tesla on the other hand developed a polyphase alternating current system of generators, motors and held 40 basic U.S. patents on the AC system. These patents were actually bought by Westinghouse to defeat Edison in the war of the currents. In fact, the only reason why George Westinghouse was able to win the war of the currents was because of Tesla's work on the AC system. So this round belongs to Nikola Tesla.
Who Contributed the Most on the Development of the AC Power System?
While it may be true that George Westinghouse and his colleagues made the use of AC practical, Tesla studied AC for a long time and like stated before developed a lot of inventions that contributed to the AC Power System. But what contribution of Tesla makes him the true owner of AC? Well in 1889 Tesla stood before the AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineer) and showed his polyphase motor which triumphs the single-phase motor in design and performance.
Winner: Nikola Tesla!
Do we really need a round 3? Usually in fights, there would be three rounds but since Tesla won on the first 2 categories, there's no need for a round 3. Enough with the technicalities. It's obvious the Tesla is most credited with developing the AC system, but let's not discredit Westinghouse's contribution. He and his colleagues were able to put the AC system commercially and without his help, Tesla and his AC power system would be forgotten.