Science Glossary Terms Electricity Chapter 12

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  1. Direct Current (DC)
    • Current in which charge particles travel through a circuit in only one direction
    • e.g. Cellphone, flashlight
  2. Alternating Current (AC)
    • Current in which electrons move back and forth in a circuit
    • e.g. Oven, heater, toaster
  3. Transformer
    • An electrical device that changes the size of the potential difference of an alternating current
    • Types of transformers: Step up, step down, three phase, single phase
  4. Circuit Breaker
    • A safety device that is placed in series with other circuits, which lead to appliances 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 other circuits, which lead to appliances and outlets
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  6. Electrical Power
    • The rate at which an appliance uses electrical energy
    • Measured in Watts (W), although the practical unit for most appliances is the kilowatt (kW)
  7. Watt (W)
    A unit of electrical power
  8. Kilowatt (kW)
    A practical unit of electrical power; 1 kW = 1000 W
  9. Electrical Energy
    • The energy that is used by an appliance at a given setting; determined by multiplying the power rating of an appliance by the length of time it is used
    • Refer to kW⋅h
  10. Kilowatt-hour (kW⋅h)
    • The practical unit of electrical energy
    • Combines the units for power x time.
  11. EnerGuide Label
    • A label that gives details about how much energy an appliance uses in one year of normal use
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  12. Smart Meter
    • A meter that records the total electrical energy used hour by hour and sends this information to the utility company automatically
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  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
    • There are three different time of use prices: off-peak, mid-peak, and on-peak use.
  14. Phantom Load
    • The electricity that is consumed by an appliance or device when it is turned off
    • You can prevent a phantom load by unplugging the device
  15. Efficiency
    • The ratio of useful energy output to total energy input, expressed as a percentage
    • Formula: Percent Efficiency = useful energy output/total energy output x 100 %
  16. Base Load
    • The continuous minimum demand for electrical power
    • In Ontario the minimum amount is about 12 000 MW. 
    • Generated Mainly by hydroelectric and nuclear generating stations, also by some coal-fired generating stations
  17. Hydroelectric Power Generation
    • The generation of electrical power using a source of moving water
    • Types of hydroelectric plants: dam stations and run-of-river stations 
    • Run-of-river ex. Niagara Falls
  18. Intermediate Load
    • A demand for electricity that is greater than the base load and is met by burning coal and natural gas
    • Roughly between 15 000 MW and 20 000 MW
    • Met by fossil fuel generating stations
  19. Peak Load
    • The greatest demand for electricity, which is met by using hydroelectric power and natural gas
    • Above 20 000 MW, and met by using hydroelectric and gas turbines
  20. Renewable Energy Source
    • A source of energy that can be replaced in a relatively short period of time
    • e.g. Hydroelectric energy, and Wind energy
  21. Non-Renewable Energy Source
    • A source of energy that cannot be replaced as quickly as it is used
    • e.g. Fossil fuels, nuclear power
  22. Solar Energy
    • Energy that is directly converted from the sun into electricity
    • Solar energy is a renewable source of energy
    • About 25% efficient, and are expensive to install
    • e.g. Solar panels on houses, or solar cells on calculators
  23. Photovoltaic Effect
    • The generation of a direct current when certain materials are exposed to light
    • Photovoltaic materials in a solar cell generate direct current when light strikes their surface
  24. Biomass Energy
    • Energy that is generated from plant and animal matter
    • This process adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but is carbon neutral because plant combustion returns to the atmosphere only as much carbon as the plants absorbed during their growth
Card Set
Science Glossary Terms Electricity Chapter 12
Chapter 12 Glossary Terms Electricity
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