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# SOME BASIC ELECTRICAL DEFINITIONS.

Alternating Current (AC) The flow of electrons in a conductor measured in amperes. Alternating current reverses its direction of flow in a cyclical manner; i.e. 60 cycles per second. Conversely, direct current always flows in the same direction at 0 cycles per second. Amperes (Amps) The rate at which electricity flows through a conductor. Voltage (Volts) The measurement of the electromotive force or potential, which will make electrons flow in a conductor or circuit. Watt, Kilowatts, Kilowatt Hours Electrical power consumption is measured in watts.

A Kilowatt is 1000 watts. A Kilowatt Hour is 1000 watts used for one hour.

We are concerned with true power that is the measure of power actually used by the load as measured by the utility wattmeter and our T.I.F. meter.

In pure resistive A/C circuit, measuring the voltage across the phase conductors and multiplying by the current flowing through the circuit conductors with an amp meter could calculate power. To measure true power in inductive circuits power factor must be considered.

KVA (Kilovolt Amperes) KVA is the non-power measure of the voltage multiplied by the amperes. KVA is not a measure of true power it is a measure of the level of apparent power a generator or transformer could deliver to a circuit with a power factor of one.

To convert from apparent power to true power, you must take the KVA and multiply it by the power factor. For example, 100 KVA of measured apparent power serving an inductive load with a power factor of .9 would result in a real power of 90 KW.

If Kilowatts (KW) is the measure of true or real power available for work then KVA is a measure of apparent power needed to get the true power to the work.

From a utility's point of view they are generating power with a power factor of one.

In other words the KW and KVA at the outlet of the power plant is the same value.

As the power factor is degraded by load and transmission factors it takes proportionally more KVA per KW used to create and deliver to the consumer true or USABLE power.

The effect that a lagging power factor has on the utility is then to force it to generate more apparent power to satisfy our clients' needs for true or USABLE power.

In other words, if we measure a power factor of 1.0, then each KVA is being turned into a KW and the real and apparent power are equal.

If the power factor is .5 then each KVA supplied to the transformer by the utility results in one half of one KW of real power being consumed and measured. This means the utility has to absorb the difference in real vs. apparent power.

The affect on the utility supplying power to a network of customers with lagging or poor power factor is that its generating and distribution efficiency is reduced.

Because the current being generated by the utility has to increase as the demand for KVA increases and in a poor power factor network the current increases disproportionately faster than in a network with unity power factor, then the losses due to the resistive heating in the power distribution network of conductors increases.

Circuit A closed, conducting path or route through which an electric current travels. Phase Phase is a trigonometric measure of the angle between the 60-cycle wave current form and the 60-cycle voltage wave form. In a perfect world, the current waveform and the voltage waveform leaving a generator would start at the same time. In reality, the inductive characteristics of the electrical distribution system and the inductive loads imposed on it retard the current wave form and cause it to lag the voltage wave form (If a circuit had more capacitance, then inductance the current wave form) would lead to the voltage waveform. Inductive Load In general loads that operate by the passing of alternating currents through a coil of wire wound around an iron core. The resulting magnetic field is used to: a - cause a motor shaft to rotate, or b - induce a similar current in another coil of wire wound around the same piece of iron core as in a transformer (There are inductive heaters that are coils of wire wound around the media to be heated.) Resistive Load A load that turns all energy (current and voltage) applied to it into heat. Includes incandescent lamps, space heaters, immersion heaters, etc. These loads are not inductive. Power Factor When current and voltage waveforms start at the same time they are in phase and power factor is 1. As circuit inductance retards the current wave form it falls out of phase or lags the voltage waveform. The measure of a lagging current waveform is expressed as a percentage; i.e., if the current lags the voltage by 10%, the power factor is 100% less 10% or 90% or 0.90. Effects of low power factor: It is sometimes considered that the wattless component of a current at low power factor is circulated without an increase of mechanical input over that necessary for actual power requirements. This is inaccurate because internal work or losses due to this extra current produced and must be supplied by the utility. Since these extra losses manifest themselves in heat, the capacity of the distribution network is reduced. Moreover, wattless components of current heat the line conductors, just as do energy components, and cause losses in them. The loss in any conductor is always W=I2R where W = the loss in watts, I = the current in amperes in the conductor, and R = the resistance in ohms. It requires much larger equipment and conductors to deliver a certain amount of power at a low power factor than at a power factor close to 1. Transformer (Voltage Type) Inductive devices used to isolate the flow of current in one circuit from another while allowing magnetic coupling of the two circuits to create a voltage in the second circuit. Transformers may be used to step down a voltage from a higher level to a lower level or to step up a voltage from a lower level to a higher level or to maintain the same voltage on both sides (primary and secondary) while isolating the circuits from one another. Fluorescent lamp ballasts are transformers. Capacitance A measure of a circuit or device's ability to store electrical energy. Applied primarily to A/C circuits where the alternating nature of the current charges and discharges the capacitor as the current reverses its direction of flow in the circuit. Capacitors ability to store electricity is measured in "Farads" or increments thereof as in microfarads. Capacitors are used to improve the performance of certain inductive circuits as discussed under power factor.

Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) Technically, the term "electromagnetic field" (EMF) refers to all fields throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. In common usage, however, the term usually refers to so-called extremely low-frequency non-ionizing radiation fieldsthose fields below 300 Hertz (Hz)and often only to those fields in the 50 to 60 Hz range, which are also known as power-frequency EMFs. As a type of non-ionizing radiation, EMFs in this range do not have sufficient energy to remove an electron from an atom or molecule, but generally transfer thermal energy to other particles. Power-frequency EMFs are those generated by electric power delivery systemsthose for which there has been the greatest public concern and research about possible adverse human health effects. Power-frequency EMFs have two components: electric fields and magnetic fields. The electric fields are generated from potential energy, or the presence of voltage on a power line. The magnetic fields, on the other hand, are generated from the actual electrical current, or the flow of electricity. Thus, when a standard household electric light is plugged into a live electrical socket, but turned off, it generates only an electric field. Once turned on, it generates both electric and magnetic fields, since the voltage is still present but current is now flowing. The size of a magnetic field increases as the amount of current flow increases, as the size of the source increases, and as one gets nearer to the source. Metal Oxide Varistor (M.O.V.) A discrete electronic component that is commonly used to divert excessive current to the ground and/or neutral lines. Acting like a pressure relief value, an MOV is comprised of zinc oxide with small quantities of bismuth, cobalt, manganese and other metal oxides. ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| Now A 2 Z.. a brief story of electrical definitions.

Alternating currents The term alternating current refers to a current that reverses at regular recurring intervals of time and that has alternately positive and negative values. Alternating current (advantages) As compared with DC, the advantage of AC is the reduced cost of transmission by use of high voltage transformers. Alternating currents (disadvantages) As compared with DC, the disadvantages of AC are: The high voltage which renders it dangerous and requires more efficient insulation; alternating current cannot be used for such purposes as electroplating, charging storage batteries, etc. Alternating current (effects) There are several effects of the AC to consider in determining the size of wires. Accordingly, allowance must be made for: Self induction, mutual induction, power factor, skin effect, eddy currents, frequency, resistance, electric hysteresis, etc.. Ammeter Measures the current flow in amperes in a circuit. An ammeter is connected in series in the circuit. Ampere The practical unit of electric current flow. If a one ohm resistance is connected to a one volt source, one ampere will flow. Anode The positive pole of a battery, or preferably the path by which the current passes out and enters the electrolyte on its way to the other pole; opposed to the cathode. Branch Circuit The circuit conductors between the final over current device protecting the circuit and the outlet(s). Calorie The French heat unit.

Capacitance Measure, in farads, or the opposition to voltage changes in an AC circuit, causing voltage to lag behind current; exhibited by condensers, two conductors separated by a nonconductor. Capacitive Reactance The effect of capacitance in opposing the flow of alternating or pulsating current. Capacitor A device used to boost the voltage to a motor. Running capacitors are used in starting winding to increase the running torque of the motor Starting capacitors are used in the starting winding to increase the starting torque of the motor. Two electrodes or sets of electrodes in the form of plates, separated from each other by an insulating material called the dielectric. Circuit A complete path over which an electric current can flow. Circuit Breaker A device designed to open and close a circuit by non automatic means and to open the circuit automatically on a predetermined over current without injury to itself when properly applied within its rating. Circuit breakers can be reset. Circuit (Series) A circuit supplying energy to a number of devices connected in series. The same current passes through each device in completing its path to the source of supply. Close Circuit A circuit permitting a continuous current. Coil An assemblage of successive convolutions of a conductor. A unit of a winding consisting of one or more insulated conductors connected in series and surrounded by common insulation, and arranged to link or produce magnetic flux. Conductance The measure of ease with which a substance conducts electricity, measured in ohms. It is the opposite of resistance and is expressed in mhos. Conductor An electrical path which offers comparatively little resistance. A wire or combination of wires not insulated from one another, suitable for carrying a single electric current. Bus bars are also conductors. Conductors may be classed with respect to their conducting power as; (a) good; silver, copper, aluminum, zinc, brass, platinum, iron, nickel, tin, lead; (b) fair; charcoal and coke, carbon, plumb ago, acid solutions, sea water, saline solutions, metallic ores, living vegetable substances, moist earth; (c) partial; water, the body, flame, linen, cotton, mahogany, pine, rosewood, lignum vitae, teak, and marble. Coulomb A unit of electrical charge; the quantity of electricity passing in one second through a circuit in which the rate of flow is one ampere. Cross Any accidental contact between electric wires or conductors. Current The movement of electrons through a conductor; measured in amperes, milliamperes, and microamperes. Cycle A complete reversal of alternating current, passing through a complete set of changes or motions in opposite directions, from a rise to maximum, return to zero, rise to maximum in the other direction, and another return to zero. One complete positive and one complete negative alternation of current or voltage. Dead Free from any electric connection to a source of potential difference and from electric charge. The term is used only with reference to current carrying parts that are sometimes alive. Deci A Latin prefix often used with a physical unit to designate a quantity one-tenth of that unit. Decibel Technically a measure of relative power levels. (b) A measure of the loudness of a bell, siren, horn, or other noise. (c) The strength of an audio signal.

Deflection The distance or angle by which one line departs from another. Diagram A skeleton geometrical drawing, illustrating the principles of application of a mechanism. Diode A two electrode electron tube containing an anode and a cathode. Diodes are used as rectifiers and detectors. Direct Current A unidirectional current. It may be constant or periodically fluctuating, as rectified alternating current. Dissipation Loss of electric energy as heat. Drop The voltage drop developed across a resistor due to current flowing through it. E Symbol for voltage. Earth The ground considered as a medium for completing an electric circuit. Electrical Horsepower 746 watts. Electrical Units In the practical system, electrical units comprise the volt, the ampere, the ohm, the watt, the watt-hour, the coulomb, the henry, the mho, the joule, and the farad. Electric Circuit The path (whether metallic or nonmetallic) of an electric current. Electrician A person who is versed in the knowledge of electricity. Electricity The name is given to an invisible agent known only by its effects and manifestations, as shown in electrical phenomena. Electricity, no matter how produced is believed to be one and the same thing. Electrocution The destruction of life by means of electric current. Electromagnet A magnet produced by passing an electric current through and insulated wire conductor coiled around a core of soft iron, as in the fields of a dynamo or motor. Electromotive Force (EMF) An energy-charge relation that results in electric pressure (voltage), which produces or tends to produce charge flow. Electron The smallest charge of negative electricity known. Energy Efficiency The efficiency of an electric machine measured in watt hours or kilowatt hours; the watt hour efficiency. Farad Practical unit of electrostatic capacity in the electromagnetic system. A condenser is said to have a capacity of one farad if it will absorb one coulomb ( that is, one ampere per second), of electricity when subjected to a pressure of one volt. The unit of capacitance. Faraday Effect A discovery made by Faraday that a wave of light polarized in a certain plane can be turned about by the influence of a magnet so that the vibrations occur in a different plane. Fathom A measure of length equal to six feet, used chiefly in taking soundings, measuring cordage, etc. Fiber Optics Piping light is the science that deals with the transmission of light through extremely thin fibers of glass, plastic, or other transparent material. Fluorescence That property by virtue of which certain solids and fluids become luminous under the influence of radiant energy.

Force An elementary physical cause capable of modifying the motion of a mass. Formula A prescribed form, principle, or rule expressed in mathematical terms, chemical symbols, etc. Formulae A rule or principle expressed in algebraic language. Frequency The number of periods occurring in the unit of time periodic process, such as in the flow of electric charge. The number of complete cycles per second existing in any form of wave motion; such as the number of cycles per second of an alternating current. Fuse A strip of wire or metal inserted in series with a circuit which, when it carries an excess of current over its rated capacity, will burn out. Also called a cutout. Galvanometer A current indicator. It consists of a magnetic needle suspended within a coil of wire and free to swing over the face of a graduated dial. The movement of the needle shows the direction of the current and indicates whether it is a strong or weak one. There are numerous types of galvanometers such as; astatic, tangent, sine, differential, ballistic, and DArsonval. Generator A general name given to a machine for transforming mechanical energy into electrical energy. Ground A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth, or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth. Grounded Connected to earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth. Heat (electric) The heat produced in a conductor by the passage of an electric current through it. Horsepower (hp) Unit used to express rate of work, or power. One horsepower=746 watts. Work done at the rate of 33,000 foot pounds per minute or 550 foot pounds per second. I Symbol for electric current. Impedance The total opposition which a circuit offers the flow of alternating current at a given frequency; combination of resistance and reactance, measured in ohms. Induction The process by which an electrical conductor becomes electrified when near a charged body and becomes magnetized. Input The intake or energy absorbed by a machine during its operation, as distinguished from the output of useful energy delivered by it. Insulator A device for fastening and supporting a conductor. Glass and porcelain are employed almost universally for supporting overhead wires. Ion An electrically charged atom or radical. Jacobis Law A law of electric motors which states that the maximum work of a motor is performed when its counter electromotive force is equal to one half the electromotive force expended on the motor. Joint The tying together of two single wire conductors so that the union will be good, both mechanically and electrically.

Joules Law The law first stated by Joule, that the quantity of heat developed in a conductor by the passage of an electric current is proportional to the resistance of the conductor, to the square of the strength of the current, and to the duration of the flow. Kilovolt (kv) A unit of pressure equal to one thousands volts. Kilowatt A unit of electrical power, equal to one thousands watts. Electric power is usually expressed in kilowatts. As the watt is equal to 1/746 horsepower, the kilowatt or 1,000 watts = 1.34 hp. Careful distinction should be made between kilowatts and kilovolt amperes. L The symbol for inductance. Leakage The escape of electric current through defects in insulation or other causes. Loss Power expended without accomplishing useful work. Made Circuit A closed or completed circuit. Mega-Volt A unit of pressure equal to one million volts. Meter An electric indicating instrument as a voltmeter, ammeter, etc. Negative The opposite of positive. A potential less than that of another potential or of the earth. In electrical apparatus, the pole or direction toward which the current is suppose to flow. Network An electric circuit in which the parts are connected in some special manner and cannot be classed as in series, in parallel, or in series-parallel. Neutron A proton and an electron in very close union existing in the nucleus. A particle having the weight of a proton but carrying no electric charge. It is located in the nucleus of an atom. Ohm The unit of electrical resistance. Resistance is one ohm when a DC voltage of one volt will send a current of one ampere through. Open Circuit A circuit, the electrical continuity of which has been interrupted, as by opening a switch. Output The current, voltage, power, or driving force delivered by a circuit or device. P Abbreviation for power. Peak The maximum instantaneous value of a varying voltage or current. Peak Current The maximum value of an alternating current. Period The time required for a complete cycle of alternating current or voltage; for 60 cycles per second, a period would be 1/60 second. Photoelectric Descriptive of the effect which light has on electric circuits, through a device controlled by light. Positive The term used to describe a terminal with fewer electrons than normal so that it attracts electrons. Electrons flow into the positive terminals of a voltage source. Power The rate at which work is done; it is usually expressed as the number of foot pounds in one minute, that is, if you

lift 33,000 foot pounds in one minute, you have done 1 horsepower of work. Proton The smallest quantity of electricity which can exist in the free state. A positive charged particle in the nucleus of an atom. Quick-Break A switch or circuit breaker that has a high contact opening speed. R Symbol for resistance. Reactance Opposition offered to the flow of AC by the inductance or capacity of a part; measured in ohms. Recovery Voltage The voltage impressed upon the fuse after a circuit is cleared. Relay An electromagnetic device which permits control of current in one circuit by a much smaller current in another circuit. Resistance The opposition offered by a substance or body to the passage through it of an electric current which converts electric energy into heat. Resistance is the reciprocal of conductance. Resistance Drop The voltage drop in place with the current. Resistor An aggregation of one or more units possessing the property of electrical resistance. Resistors are used in electric circuits for the purpose of operation, protection, or control. Semiconductor A name given to substances having only moderate power of transmitting electricity, and which may be said in that respect to, stand midway between conductors and insulators. Series Circuit A circuit supplying energy to a number of loads connected in series, that is, the same current passes through each load in completing its path to the source of supply. Series Parallel Circuit An electric current containing groups of parallel connected receptive devices, the groups being arranged in the circuit in series; a series multiple circuit. Short Circuit A fault in an electric circuit or apparatus due usually to imperfect insulation, such that the current follows a by-path and inflicts damage or is wasted. Solenoid A spiral of conducting wire, would cylindrically so that when an electric current passes through it, its turns are nearly equivalent to a succession of parallel circuits, and it acquires magnetic properties similar to those of a bar magnet. Spark A discharge of electricity across a gap between two electrodes. The discharge is accompanied by heat and incandescence. Distinguish between spark and arc. Steady Current An electric current of constant amperage. Switch A device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electric current. Telsa Coil A form of induction coil designed by Telsa for obtaining high voltages and frequencies; it consists of a primary of a few turns of coarse wire and a secondary of fine wire, both immersed in oil insulation; a Telsa transformer. Transformer An apparatus used for changing the voltage and current of an alternating circuit. A transformer consists of primary winding, secondary winding, and an iron core. In principle, if a current

is passed through a coil of wire encircling a bar of soft iron, the iron will become a magnet; when the current is is continued the bar loses its magnetization. Transistor An active semiconductor device with three or more terminals. Transistors turn on instantly. They dont require a warm-up time like a tube does. A transistor will last for years and very little voltage is needed. Unit of Current The practical unit of current is the ampere, which is the current produced by a pressure of one volt in a circuit having a resistance of one ohm. Unit of Electric Work The joule. Unit of Pressure The volt, or pressure which will produce a current of one ampere against a resistance of one ohm. Unit of Resistance The ohm, which is the resistance that permits a flow of one ampere when the impressed pressure is one volt. V Symbol for volt. Volt The practical unit of electric pressure. The pressure which will produce a current of one ampere against a resistance of one ohm. Voltage Drop The drop of pressure in an electric circuit due to the resistance of the conductor. V-O-M meter Volt-ohm-milliammeter, the troubleshooters basic testing instrument. W Symbol for wattage. Watt The practical unit of power, being the amount of energy expended per second by an unvarying current of one ampere under the pressure of one volt. X Symbol for reactance. Y connection This method of transformer connection consists in connecting both the primaries and secondaries in star grouping. Z Symbol for impedance.