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Electrical Glossary: A Detailed Glossary of All Electrical Terms

Choose a letter below to navigate to the definition you're looking for:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

[D]

 

 

Decibel:

A logarithmic measure of the ratio of two quantities. Abbreviated dB. For electrical power, 1 dB = 10 x log10 P1/P2. For electric voltage or current, 1 dB = 20 x log10 E1/E2.

 

 

 

Device:

A unit of an electrical system that is intended to carry but not utilize electric energy.

 

 

 

Diode:

An electronic semiconductor device that predominantly allows current to flow in only one direction.

 

 

 

Direct Current (DC):

Circuit in which the flow of electrons is in one direction only, from anode to cathode.

 

 

 

Distribution Equipment:

A device designed to provide electricity to multiple connections.

 

 

 

Dwelling:

One or more rooms for the use of one or more persons as a housekeeping unit with space for eating, living, and sleeping, and permanent provisions for cooking and sanitation.

 

[E]

 

 

Electric Resistance Heating:

A type of heating system that generates heat by passing current through a conductor, causing it to heat up. These systems usually use baseboard heaters, often with individual controls. They are inefficient and are best used as a backup to more efficient options, such as solar heating or a heat pump.

 

 

 

Electronic Ballasts:

An electronic device that regulates the voltage of fluorescent lamps. Compared to older magnetic ballasts, electronic ballasts use less electricity and are not prone to the flickering and humming effects sometimes associated with magnetic ballasts.

 

 

 

Energy Saving Devices:

Devices utilized within a dwelling designed to more efficiently make use of energy sources while providing heating, cooling, and light.

 

 

 

Enclosure:

The case or housing of an apparatus, fence, or walls that prevent persons from accidentally contacting energizing parts, or to protect the equipment from physical damage.

 

 

 

Energizing:

Electrically connected to a source of potential difference.

 

 

 

Energy:

The capacity for, or the ability to do, mechanical work. Electrical energy is measured in kilowatt-hours for billing purposes.

 

 

 

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER):

The ratio of the cooling capacity of the air conditioner, in Btu per hour, to the total electrical input in watts under test conditions specified by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

 

 

 

 

Energy Saving Devices:

Devices utilized within a dwelling designed to more efficiently make use of energy sources while providing heating, cooling, and light.

 

 

 

Equipment:

A general term including materials, fittings, devices, appliances, fixtures, apparatus, and the like used as a part of, or in connection with, an electrical installation.

 

[F]

 

 

Fault:

A short circuit in an electrical system.

 

 

 

Fitting:

An accessory such as a locknut, bushing, or other part of a wiring system that is intended primarily to perform a mechanical rather than an electrical function.

 

 

 

Fluorescent Lamps:

Fluorescent lamps produce light by passing electricity through a gas, causing it to glow. The gas produces ultraviolet light; a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp absorbs the ultraviolet light and produces visible light. Fluorescent lamps produce much less heat than incandescent lamps and are more energy efficient. Linear fluorescent lamps are used in long narrow fixtures designed for such lamps. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been designed to replace incandescent light bulbs in table lamps, floodlights, and other fixtures.

 

 

 

Frequency:

In alternating current, the rate at which the current changes direction. One complete cycle is a unit of 1 Hertz, named after the Physicist who researched AC (Alternating Current). The standard frequency in the US is 60 Hz.

 

 
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