Basic Electrical Terms And Their Meaning



Basic Electrical Terms And Their Meaning


Electrical terms and their meaning

To help readers to understand the various terms used in electrical  engineering sections, here a list of the terms to help get you started. 

Engineering Terms And Their Meaning. 

1. Single Phase: single phase electric power is the distribution of alternating current electric power using a system in which all the voltages of the supply vary in unison. Single-phase distribution is used when loads are mostly lightning and heating, with few large electric motors. 

Single phase is more widely available in residential settings and is less expensive to purchase than three phase power units. Single phase is commonly called "residential voltage" for many reasons, one of which is that most homes use it(it's the power present in wall plugs. 

2. Three phase (3): three phase power can be defined as the common method of alternating current power generation, transmission, and distribution. It is a type of poly phase system and is the most common methods used by electric grids worldwide to transfer power. 

Three phase electric power is a common type of alternating current used in electricity generation. Also three phase electric power require less conductor mass for the same voltage and overall power, compare with a two phase four wire circuit of the same carrying capacity. It has replaced two phase power for commercial distribution of electrical energy, but two phase circuit are still found in certain control systems. 

3. Alternating current (AC) : Alternating current is a type of electrical current, in which the direction of the flow of electrons switches back and forth at regular intervals or cycles. Current flowing in power lines and normal household electricity that comes from a wall outlets is alternating current. 

The main factor that went into the choice of AC over DC was that AC is more efficient. It's ability to travel back and forth gave it ability to travel over long distances. Thus making it able to power more homes. 

4. Direct current (DC) :  Direct current is one directional flow of electric charge. An electrochemical cell is a prime example of DC power. Direct current may flow through a conductor such as wire, but can also flow through semiconductors, insulators, or even through a vacuum as in electron or ion beams. 

Today our electricity is still predominantly powered by alternating current, but computer, LEDs, solar cells and electric vehicles all run on DC power. And methods are now available for converting direct current to higher and lower voltages. 

5. Symmetrical Waveform: waveform is symmetrical in shape and has a positive pulse width equal to it negative pulse resulting in a 50% duty cycle. Waveform are used in digital systems to represent a logic level "1", high Amplitude and logic level " 0", low amplitude. 

6. Asymmetrical Waveform: asymmetrical unlike waveform that indicate DC offset, asymmetric waveform mean amplitude will reside on the center axis. However the representation of positive and negative amplitude (energy) will be disproportionate. This can inhibit the amount of gainthan can be safely applied to the audio. 

7. Digital Signal: A digital signal is a signal that represents data as a sequence of discrete value. A digital signal can only take on one valid at a given time. With digital signal, the physical quantity representing the information can be many things:variable electric current or voltage. 

8. Analogue Signal: analogue signal defined as any continuous signal for which the time varying features of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity. 

Analogue signal is decribed using amplitude, a period of frequency and phase. Amplitude marks height of the signal, frequency marks the rate at which the signal is changing and phase marks the position of the wave with respect to time zero. 

9. Inductors : an inductor, also called coil choke or reactor, is a passive two terminal electrical components that stores energy in magnetic field when electric current flow through it. An inductor typically consists of an insulated wire wound into a coil.

An inductor is also a passive two terminal electrical components that stores energy in a magnetic field when electric current flows through it. 

10. Capacitor: capacitor is a device that stores  electrical energy in an electric field by virtue of accumulating electric charges on two close surfaces insulated from each other. It is a passive electronic components with two terminals. 

The physical form and construction of practical capacitor vary widely and many types of capacitors contain at least two electrical conductor often in the form of metallic plates or surface separated by a dielectric medium. 

11.Kirchoff Current Law: kirchoff current law (KCL) state that the total current entering an junction or a node is equal the charge leaving the node as no charge is lost. This law is used to describe how a charge enters and leaves a wire junction point or node on a wire. 

12. Kirchoff Voltage Law: kirchoff voltage law states that the sum of voltage differences around any closed loop in a circuit must be zero. A loop in a circuit is any path which ends at the same point at which it starts. 

The principle of this law is to conserve the electric charge. And by obeying this very law the principle is very much obtainable. 

13. Current Divider Rule (CDR) : The rule is only applicable when the resistance networks is connected in a parallel combination, the current remains the same through the resistance network. 

14. Voltage Dependent Resistor(VDR): are two terminal semiconductor components that protects the electrical and electronic devices from over voltage transients. They are other known as varistors . The term is derived from variable and resistor which is why it is also known as Varistors

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