Chapter #12: Glossary Terms

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  1. Direct current (DC)
    Current in which charged particles travel through a circuit in only one direction.
  2. Alternating current (AC)
    A current in which electrons move back and forth in a cirucuit.
  3. Transformer
    An electrical device that changes the size of the potential difference of an alternating current.
  4. Circuit breaker
    A safety device that is placed in series with other circuits that lead to apliannces and outlets.

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  5. Fuse
    A safety device that is found in older buildings and some appliances; like a circuit breaker, it is placed in series with others circuits that lead to aplliances and outlets.

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  6. Electrical power
    The rate at which an appliance uses electrical energy.
  7. Watt (W)
    A unit of electrical power; 1kW=1000W
  8. Kilowatt (kW)
    A practical unit of electrical power; 1kW=1000W
  9. Electrical energy
    The energy that is used by an appiance at a given setting; it is determined by multiplying its power rating by the lentgh of time it is used. 
  10. Kilowatt-hour (kW∙h)
    The practical unit of electrical energy. 
  11. EnerGuide label
    A label that gives detail about how much energy an appliance uses in one year of normal use. 
  12. Smart meter
    A meter tha records the total eletical energy used hour by hour and sends this information to the utility company automatically. 
  13. Time of use pricing
    A system of pricing in which the cost of each kW×h of energy used is different at different times of the day.

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  14. Phantom load
    The electricty that is consumed by an aplliance or device when it is turned off.
  15. Efficiency
    The ratio of useful energy output to total energy input, expressed as a percentage.
  16. Base load
    The continuous minimum demand for electricity. Met by hydroelectric power and nuclear power.
  17. Hydroelectric power generation
    The production of electricity using a source of moving water.
  18. Intermediate load
    A demand for electrical energy that is greater than the base load and is met by burning voals and natural gas.
  19. Peak load
    The greatest demand for electricity, which is met by using hydroelectric power an natural gas.
  20. Renewable energy source
    A source of energy that can be replaced in a relatively brief period of time. For example, hydroelectricity. 
  21. Non-renewable energy source
    A source of energy that cannot be replaced as quickly as it is used. For example the burning of fossil fuels.
  22. Solar energy
    Energy that is directly converted from the energy of the Sun into electricity.

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  23. Photovoltaic effect
    The generation of direct current when certian materials are exposed to light.

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  24. Biomass energy
    Energy produced by the conversion of biomass directly to heat or to a liquid or gas that can be converted to energy.

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Chapter #12: Glossary Terms
Chapter 12 Glossary Terms
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