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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.
klydonograph
a measuring instruments for high-voltage impulses which makes use of Lichtenburg figures impressed on photographic film.
klystrode
an amplifier device for UHFTV signals that combines aspects of a tetrode (grid modulation) with a klystron (velocity modulation of an electron beam). The result is a more efficient, less expensive device for many applications. (Klystrode is a trademark of EIMAC, a division of Varian Associates.)
knob-and-tube wiring
a form of residential wiring, now obsolete, in which lightly-insulated wires are supported on porcelain insulators (knobs) or porcelain bushings (tubes) through joists or studs.
knowledge engineering
the process of developing an expert system.
Kramer drive
an electric drive system in which the output of the driven frequency converter is fed to the slip rings of the wound rotor. Unlike its predecessor Leblanc system, the variable transformer is connected to the wound rotor slip rings instead of to the line.
Kramer's generalization
a sampling theory based on other than Fourier transforms and frequency.
kVA
See kilovolt-ampere
KWH
See kilowatt-hour