Glossary of Electrical Terms

Ampere (amp) - The unit of measurement of electric current. It is proportional to the quantity of electrons flowing through a conductor past a given point in one second. It is analogous to cubic feet of water flowing per second.

Circuit - The path that electricity follows.

Conductor - Material that allows electric current to pass through it.

Current - The rate of flow of electricity in a circuit, measured in amps.

Generator - A machine that transforms mechanical energy into electricity. It consists of a magnet rotating in a coil wire, which frees electrons and pushes them along the wire.

Ground - The earth or any object that makes an electrical connection with the earth, which has an arbitrary zero potential energy level.

Grounded - Anything touching an electrical current and ground at the same time is "grounded."

Insulator - Material that strongly resists the flow of electricity through it.

Substation - A collection of equipment for the purpose of raising, lowering and regulating the voltage of electricity.

Transformer - An electrical device that either raises or lowers the voltage of electricity.

Volt - A unit of electrical force or electric pressure. It is analogous to water pressure in pounds per square inch.

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