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Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

active power
See real power
active power line conditioner
a device which senses disturbances on a power line and injects compensating voltages or currents to restore the line’s proper waveform.
active RC filter
an electronic circuit made up of resistors, capacitors, and operational amplifiers that provide well-controlled linear frequency-dependent functions, e.g., low-, high-, and bandpass filters.

adaptive control
a control methodology in which control parameters are continuously and automatically adjusted in response to be measured/estimated process variables to achieve near-optimum system performance.
ADC
See analog-to-digital converter
additive polarity
polarity designation of a transformer in which terminals of the same polarity on the low-and high-voltage coils are physically adjacent to each other on the transformer casing. With additive polarity, a short between two adjacent terminals results in the sum of the two coil voltages appearing between the remaining terminals. Additive polarity is generally used for transformers up to 500kVA and 34.5kV. Larger units use subtractive polarity.
See subtractive polarity
adjustable-speed drive
See variable speed drive
admittance
the reciprocal of the impedance of an electric circuit.

air capacitor
a fixed or variable capacitor in which air is the dielectric material between the capacitor’s plates.

air circuit breaker
a power circuit breaker where the power contacts operate in air. Some versions employ an air blast to extend and clear the arc on contact opening, while others employ arc chutes with magnetic or thermal assists.

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