Most components, however, require DC current to run. The solution is a set of diodes that serve as a kind of electrical check valve for current coming out of the alternator. Diodes only allow current to flow in one direction, so when AC goes in on one side, only DC comes out on the other.
This is more a shopping tip than anything, but it still bears mentioning. Like everything else in this world, there are varying degrees of wire quality. For years the standby wire insulation was Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC. Relatively tough, flexible, and inexpensive, it gets the job done, however, PVC is a thermoplastic. And like other thermoplastics like lacquers and synthetic enamels, it tends to oxidize and brittle with age.
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