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Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

arm pin
a pin insulator

armature
the magnetic circuit of a rotating electrical machine, including the main current carrying winding, in which an alternating voltage is induced by the magnetic field.
armature circuit
components of the machine that carry armature current. For example, in a DC machine the armature circuit could consist of the armature windings, brushes, series field winding, compensating windings, interpoles, starting resistor(s), main-line contacts, and overload sensor.
armature current limiting
a condition wherein the stator currents are clamped at the maximum allowable limit due to excessive heating of the stator.

armature reaction
(1) in DC machines, a distortion of the field flux caused by the flux created by the armature current. Armature reaction in a DC machine causes lower flux at one pole-tip and higher flux at the other, which may lead to magnetic saturation. It also shifts the neutral axis, causing sparking on the commutator.

(2) in AC synchronous machines, a voltage “drop” caused by the armature current. In the steady state model of the synchronous machine, the armature reaction is accounted for by a component of the synchronous reactance. armature voltage control a method of controlling the speed of a DC motor by varying the voltage applied to the armature while keeping the voltage applied to the field circuit constant.

armature winding
an arrangement of coils carrying the main current, typically wound on the stator of a synchronous machine or the rotor of a DC machine, in which an alternating voltage is induced by the magnetic field.
armless construction
a method of distribution line construction, often used for aesthetic purposes, in which pin insulators are mounted on steel brackets bolted directly to a utility pole without the use of a crossarm.
arrester discharge current
the current in an arrester during a surge.

arrester discharge voltage
the voltage in an arrester during a surge.

artificial dielectric
a dielectric material that has been modified to alter its properties. Common modifications include micro-machining to remove material from the substrate under planar patch antenna to improve radiation properties and the fabrication of periodic arrays of holes to realize guiding or photonic bandgap structures.
artificial intelligence
the study of computer techniques that emulate aspects of human intelligence, such as speech recognition, logical inference, and ability to reason from partial information.
ASCII
American standard code for information interchange.
askarel
a trade name for an insulating oil.

aspect ratio
(1) the size invariant ratio of length to width for a rectangular box enclosing a shape, the orientation of the box being chosen to maximize the ratio. This measure is used to characterize object shapes as a preliminary to, or as a quick procedure for, object recognition.
(2) the ratio of width to height for an image or display.
(3) in television or motion pictures, the algebraic ratio of picture width to height. At present, the television format in the United States consists of a width to height ratio of 4 to 3.

asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL)
a digital subscriber line (DSL) in which the rate from central switching office (CO) to customer premise is much faster than the rate from customer premise to CO.
asynchronous
not synchronous.

asynchronous AC systems
AC systems either with different operating frequencies or that are not in synchronism.
asynchronous bus
a bus in which the timing of bus transactions is achieved with two basic "handshaking" signals, a request
signal from the source to the destination and an acknowledge signal from the destination to the source. The transaction begins with the request to the destination. The acknowledge signal is generated when the destination is ready to accept the transaction. Avoids the necessity to know system delays in advance and allows different timing for different transactions.

See synchronous bus
asynchronous circuit
(1) a sequential logic circuit without a system clock.
(2) a circuit implementing an asynchronous system. asynchronous demodulation a technique for extracting the information-carrying waveform from a modulated signal without requiring a phase-synchronized carrier for demodulation.
See synchronous demodulation
asynchronous machine
See induction machine