Glossary of Electric Utility Industry Terms


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Ganged Switch – A switch is which the “Ganged” refers to the three phases being electrically or mechanically tied together so that the 3 phases open at the same time. (EUSO-photo)

Gas Turbine – A jet engine, bolted to footings, that uses its hot exhaust gas to spin an electric generator. Gas turbines are called combustion turbines in some electric utilities. (EUSO, IESO)

GIS – Geographic information system. A computer-based system used for the storing, retrieving and displaying information that is referenced to coordinates of the earth. It is used for inventory control, system design and outage management.

GIS – Gas insulated switchgear. Circuit breakers and/or switch assemblies that are filled with sulphur hexafluoride gas. (EUSO)

Governor – The electromechanical system used to regulate steam flow in a steam turbine-generator plant, to control water flow in a hydroelectric plant, or to control gas or oil flow into a gas turbine plant or into an internal combustion engine. (EUSO, IESO)

GOAB - An acronym for a Gang Operated Air Break switch. The “Gang” refers to the three phases being electrically or mechanically tied together so that the 3 phases open at the same time. The “Air Break” refers to a visible break in the air that allows crews to see that the switch is truly open.

GPS – An acronym for Global Positioning System. A satellite-based system that uses triangulation to precisely identify a location on the earth.

Grid – The transmission lines that connect generating plants to each other, that connect these generating plants to the towns and cities being served, and that connect neighboring utilities together.

Ground – An electrical connection between a metal structure or metal conductor, and ground. In some countries, it is called earth. Grounds are used for safety, for protective relaying and for lightning protection.

Grounding – Connecting a device or conductor to the ground with a conductor. In some countries it is called earthing.

Guy Wire – A wire or cable used to provide mechanical strength. It should not be carrying current.


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