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Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

Ward–Leonard drive
an adjustable voltage control drive system for the speed control of DC machines, whereby variable voltage is supplied to the armature, while maintaining constant voltage across the shunt or separately excited fields. The variable voltage is obtained from a motor-generator set. The Ward–Leonard drive was frequently used in elevators.
warm start
(1) reassumption, without loss, of some processes of the system from the point of detected fault.

(2) the restart of a computer operating system without going through the power-on (cold) boot process.
water resistivity
a measure of the purity of cooling liquid for a power tube, typically measured in megohms per centimeter.
watt
unit of power in the SI system of units.
Watt
Watt, James (1736–1819) Born: Greenock, Scotland, U.K.

is best known for his work in the development of efficient steam power. Watt began his career as an instrument maker.
When asked to fix a troublesome Newcomen engine, he began to make improvements.

Watt eventually partnered with industrialist Matthew Boulton to form a steam engine company. Watt is credited with having devised the horsepower system. The unit of power, the watt, is named in his honor.
watt-VAR meter
meter capable of simultaneously measuring the real and reactive power delivered to an AC load.
wattmeter
an instrument for measuring electric power in watts. A wattmeter requires connections to measure both the current through and the voltage across the load being measured.
Weber
Weber, Wilhelm (1804–1891) Born: Wittenberg, Germany

is best known as the person who deduced that electricity consists of charged particles. Weber held several university appointments including professorships at Gottingen, where he had a very productive collaboration with Karl Gauss. Weber insisted on precision in his mathematical and experimental work. He developed a number of very precise measurement instruments. His efforts helped establish a sound foundation for the study of electricity and magnetism. He is honored by having his name used as the SI unit of magnetic flux density, the weber.
Weber’s law
an experimental result that states that the smallest luminance increment ΔL at which a region of luminance L + ΔL is just discernible from a background of luminance L is such that the ratio ΔL/L is constant. See also brightness constancy, simultaneous contrast.
Westinghouse
Westinghouse, George (1846–1914) Born: Central Bridge, New York, U.S.A.

is best known as a financier and industrialist during America’s age of great commercial expansion. What is less
known today is that Westinghouse’s fortune was based on his early inventions in the railroad industry. His braking system was eventually adopted in most rail cars. Westinghouse went on to secure over 400 patents in the rail and the gas distribution industries. Before hiring Tesla and buying his patents, Westinghouse had been a champion of alternating current for power distribution. His company provided illumination for the great Chicago Exposition of 1893. Before
his death, Westinghouse was to lose control of the companies that bear his name. Undaunted, he returned to the laboratory for a number of additional years of invention.
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