Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

harmonic sinusoidal
component of a periodic waveform that has a frequency equal to an integer multiple of the basic frequency (or fundamental frequency). Thus the third harmonic of a power system voltage in the U.S. has a frequency of 3 x 60, or 180 Hz. For electric systems powered by sinusoidal sources, harmonics are introduced by nonlinear devices such as saturated iron cores and power electronic devices.