Electrical Contractor Terminology Glossary A

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Glossary AElectrical Contractor Terminology used by Goodiel Electric, LLC.

A  – 1) Amperes; Amps. 2) Area . For cables Area is expressed in Circular Mils.
A -H – Ampere-Hour.
A /D Conversion – The process of converting an analogue signal into an equivalent digital one utilizing an A /D converter.
AA  – 1) The Aluminum Association. 2) Refers to All Aluminum as in All Aluminum Conductor.
AAAC – All Aluminum Alloy Conductor.
AAC – All Aluminum Conductor.
AAC/TW – All Aluminum Conductor, Trapezoidal-Shaped Aluminum Strands.
AASHTO – American Association of Safety Highway Traffic Officials.
Absorbed Glass Mat – Absorbed Glass Mat, also known as AGM, is a newer type of battery construction that uses saturated absorbent glass mats rather than gelled or liquid electrolyte. It is somewhat more expensive than flooded (liquid) type, but offers good reliability.
AC – Alternating Current. Electric current that rises from zero to a maximum in one direction, falls to zero and then rises to a maximum in the opposite direction, and then repeats another cycle.
Further Reading 
ACAR – All Aluminum Conductor, Aluminum Alloy Reinforced.
ACB – Air Circuit Breaker.
Access Point – A wireless networked device usually connected to a wireless LAN used to access the wired LAN.
Accuracy – The degree of uncertainty for which a measured value agrees the ideal value.
Accuracy Class – A number used to indicate the accuracy range of a measurement transducer, according to the defined standard.
ACSR – Aluminum Conductor Steel Reinforced.
ACSR/AW – Aluminum Conductor, Aluminum Clad Steel Reinforced.
ACSR/TW – ACSR conductor made using Trapezoidal Wire construction.
ACSS – Aluminum Conductor Steel Supported. This is a conductor that is generally used for overhead transmission construction. ACSS is often preferred over ACSR because of its superior sag characteristics.
ACSS/AW – Aluminum Conductor, Aluminum Clad Steel Supported.
ACSS/TW – ACSS conductor made using Trapezoidal Wire construction.
Active Material (Battery) – Material which reacts chemically to produce electrical energy when the cell discharges. The material returns to its original state during the charging process.
Active Power – A term used for power when it is necessary to distinguish among Apparent Power, Complex Power and its components, and Active and Reactive Power.
Adjustment – The operation intended to bring a transducer into a state of performance suitable for its use.
Admittance – The reciprocal of Impedance (1/Z).
ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL uses standard phone lines to provide high speed data communications. ADSL upstream speeds (from the user) normally top out at 128Kbps and downstream (to the user) at no more than 1.5Mbps.
AEIC – Association of Edison Illuminating Companies.
Aeolian Vibration – A natural forced vibration caused by wind flowing over a conductor. This occurs at alternate wind induced vortices and at wind speeds typically at 8 to 12 MPH.
Aerial Cable – An assembly of insulated conductors installed on a pole or similar overhead structures. It may be self supporting or attached to a messenger cable.
AFCI – Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter.
AFD – Adjustable Frequency Drive.
AFI – Arc Fault Interrupter.
AGM – See “Absorbed Glass Mat”.
AIC – Arc Interrupting Current.
Air Blast Breakers – A variety of high voltage circuit breakers that use a blast of compressed air to blow-out the arc when the contacts open. Normally, such breakers only were built for transmission class circuit breakers.
AIS – Air Insulated Switchgear.
Al – The chemical symbol for aluminum.
Alarm – A signal for attracting attention to some abnormal event.
ALJ – Administrative Law Judge.
All-or-Nothing Relay – An electrical relay which is intended to be energized by a quantity, whose value is either higher than that at which it picks up or lower than that at which it drops out.
Alley Arm – A side brace for a cross arm that is not loaded (balanced) evenly.
Alley Roadway (Lighting) – Narrow public ways within a block, generally used for vehicular access to the rear of abutting properties.
Alligator – A specialized tool attached to a hot stick used to tie a wire or cable into an insulator.
Alloy – A metal formed by the combination of two or more metals.
Alternating Current – An electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals, having a magnitude that varies continuously in a sinusoidal manner.
Ambient Temperature – The temperature surrounding an object.
American Wire Gage (AWG) – A standard system used in the United States for designating the size of an electrical conductor based on a geometric progression between two conductor sizes.
AMF (Lighting) – Average Maintained Foot-candles.
Amorphous Semiconductor – A non-crystalline semiconductor material used in photovoltaic panel construction. It is easier and less costly to manufacture than crystalline, but is less efficient and degrades over time. It is also known as thin film.
Ampacity – The current in amperes that a conductor can carry continuously under given conditions of use without exceeding its temperature rating.
Amperage – Amps/Amperes/Ampacity/Rated Amperage -measurement of the flow rate of electricity. If you think in terms of water through a hose, amperage would be a measure of water volume flowing through the hose.
Further Reading 
Ampere – The unit expressing the rate of flow of an electric current. One ampere is the current produced by a difference in potential of one volt across a resistance of one ohm; An electric current flowing at the rate of one coulomb per second.
Ampere-Hour – The use of one Ampere for one hour.
Ampere-hour capacity (storage battery) – The number of ampere-hours that can be delivered under specified conditions of temperature, rate of discharge, and final voltage.
Ampere-hour meter – An electric meter that measures and registers the integral, with respect to time, of the current of a circuit in which it is connected.
Anchor – A device that supports and holds in place conductors when they are terminated at a pole or structure. The anchor is buried and attached to the pole by way of guy wire to counteract the mechanical forces of these conductors.
Anneal – The process of controlled heating and cooling of a metal. In wire and cable products, copper and aluminum are annealed to increase flexibility while maintaining adequate strength.
Anode – 1) The positive electrode that emits positive ions and attracts negative ions, within a voltaic cell or other such device. 2) The positive pole of a battery.
ANSI – American National Standards Institute. ANSI is located at 1430 Broadway, New York, NY 10018.
Antenna Gain – An antenna ‘s transmission power, provided as a ratio of its output (send) signal strength to its input (receive) signal strength, normally expressed in dBi. The higher the dBi, the stronger the antenna .
Anti-Pumping Device – A feature incorporated in a Circuit Breaker or re-closing scheme to prevent repeated operation where the closing impulse lasts longer than the sum of the relay and CB operating times.
Apparent Power (volt-amps) – The product of the applied voltage and current in an ac circuit. Apparent power, or volt-amps, is not the true power of the circuit because the power factor is not considered in the calculation.
AR – Automatic Recloser.
Arc – A discharge of electricity through air or a gas.
Arc Flash – An arcing fault is the flow of current through the air between phase conductors or phase and neutral or ground. An arcing fault can release tremendous amounts of concentrated radiant energy at the point of the arcing in a small fraction of a second results.
Arc Thermal Performance Value – Maximum capability for arc flash protection of a particular garment or fabric measured in calories per square centimeter.
Arcing Time – The time between instant of separation of the CB contacts and the instant of arc excitation.
Armor – An outer metal layer applied to a cable for mechanical protection. Armor is comprised of factory formed wire, designed to be applied to a range of conductor sizes. Preformed Line Products manufacturers Armor.
Armor Rod – An outer metal layer applied to a cable for mechanical protection. Armor Rods are comprised of factory formed wire, designed to be applied to a range of conductor sizes. Preformed Line Products manufacturers Armor Rods.
Array – For photovoltaic systems, a number of photovoltaic modules connected together to provide a single electrical output. Also see “Photovoltaic Array”.
Arrester – Short for Surge Arrester, a device that limits surge voltage by diverting it.
Askeral – A generic term for a group of synthetic, fire-resistant, chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons used as electrical insulated fluids.
ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials. ASTM is located at 1916 Race Street, Philadelphia , PA 19103.
ATC – Available Transfer Capacity.
ATP – Alternative Transient Program.
Automatic line sectionalizer – A self-contained circuit-opening device that automatically opens the main electrical circuit after sensing and responding to a predetermined number of successive main current impulses.
Automatic Recloser – An automatic switch used to open then reclose following an over current event on a distribution voltage (medium voltage) line.
Autonomous Photovoltaic System – A stand-alone Photovoltaic system that has no back-up generating source. The system may or may not include storage batteries. Most battery systems are designed for a certain minimum number of days or operation before recharging is needed.
Autotransformer – A transformer in which at least two windings have a common section. They are use to either “buck” or “boost” the incoming line voltage.
Auxiliary Power – The power required for correct operation of an electrical or electronic device, supplied via an external auxiliary power source rather than the line being measured.
Auxiliary Relay – An all-or-nothing relay energized via another relay. An example is a measuring relay, for the purpose of providing higher rated contacts, or introducing a time delay, or providing multiple outputs from a single input.
Average Maintained Foot-candles (Lighting) – (ILL x CU x LLF)/(PS x RW).
AWG – American Wire Gauge; standard measuring gauge for non-ferrous conductors (i.e., non-iron and non-steal). Lower gauge numbers indicate larger conductor size.
Further Reading 
Azimuth – The angle between true north and the projection of a surface normal to the horizontal plane, measured clockwise from the north. As applied to a Photovoltaic array, 180 degrees azimuth means the array faces south.


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