Glossary of Electric Utility Industry Terms

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Vector – A vector is an arrow with both a direction and a magnitude (or value). (EDS)

Vector Analysis – As applied to a transformer, it is the process of drawing vectors to represent the transformer connections. When properly drawn, vector analysis shows the phase shift between the incoming and outgoing voltages. (EDS)

Volt – When an electric force moves 1 Coulomb of electrons to produce 1 Joule of work, the electric force has a measure of 1 Volt. Volt is named after Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) who invented the battery. (EUSO)

Volt-Amp – The measure of total power in an alternating-current electrical system. It is obtained by multiplying the voltage by the current in a single-phase system, and by multiplying the voltage by the current by the square of 3 in a 3-phase system.

Voltage – The force that causes electrons to flow. It is often called potential. (EUSO)

Voltage Decay - Usually refers to the rate voltage decreases, or decays, on a capacitor or on shielded underground cable. The actual rate of decay is an exponential rate. Exponential refers to a family of curves called the exponential curves that are mathematically defined. (EUSO, EDS, CAEDS, IESO, System operator classes)

Voltage Drop – The characteristics of a voltage getting lower and lower the further a conductor runs from the source. (EUSO, EDS, CAEDS, IESO, System operator classes)

Voltage Spike - An instantaneous rise and drop in voltage. Lightning striking a power line causes an instantaneous rise in voltage, and the voltage then returns to normal. This is a spike. A spike is an older term. Several years ago the term spike was changed to surge. (EUSO, CAEDS, EDS, IESO)

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