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Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

KCL
See Kirchoff’s current law
kcmil
See circular mil
Kerr effect
the quadratic electro-optic effect, particularly in the case for gases and liquids.
kilovar
See VAR
kilovolt-ampere (KVA)
a measure of apparent power, often in the rating of a piece of equipment or the measure of an electrical load, which is obtained by multiplying the device voltage in kilovolts by the current in amperes.
kilowatt-hour (KWH)
a measure of electrical energy: 1000 watts delivered for one hour.
Kirchhoff
is best known for discovering the laws that govern electric flow in networks, known now as Kirchhoff’s laws. Kirchhoff is also famous as the inventor of spectroscopy, and his theoretical work led to the quantum theory of matter. Kirchhoff first held a teaching post in Berlin, followed by appointments in Breslau and Heidelberg. In the latter
two universities, Kirchhoff had very fruitful collaborations with Robert Bunsen. Kirchhoff’s studies in electricity provided a foundation for Maxwell and Lorenz’s description of electromagnetic theory.
Kirchoff’s current law (KCL)
a fundamental law of electricity that states that the sum of the currents entering and exiting a circuit node must be equal to 0.
Kirchoff’s laws
laws that govern the relationships between voltages/currents in a circuit/network. See also Kirchoff’s voltage law, Kirchoff’s current law.
Kirchoff’s voltage law (KVL)
a fundamental law of electricity that states that the sum of the voltage drops and rises in a closed loop must equal 0.
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