Glossary of Electric Utility Industry Terms

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WAPA – See Western Area Power Administration (EUSO, System operator classes)

Watt - The unit of measure of electrical power. It is the power produced by 1 Amp flowing through an electric force of 1 Volt. It is named after James Watt (1736 – 1819) who built the first steam engine. (Horsepower is a measure of mechanical power; 746 watts equal one horsepower.) (EUSO, IESO)

Wave Trap – A communication device used in transmission and distribution. It is a coil placed in series in a transmission line or distribution line that prevents the communication signal from traveling farther than desired. (EDS, System operator classes)

WECCWestern Electricity Coordinating Council - See NERC. (EUSO, System operator classes)

Western Electricity Coordinating Council – WECC - See NERC. (EUSO, System operator classes)

Western Area Power Administration (WAPA – One of four federal electric power marketing administrations. The Western Area Power Administration markets and provides transmission for power from hydroelectric dams operated by Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission. The 15 states covered include Arizona, California, Colorado, western edge of Iowa, Kansas, west edge of Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico North Dakota, South Dakota, western Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The other federal electric power marketing administrations are The Bonneville Power Administration, the Southeastern Power Administration, and the Southwestern Area Power Administration. (EUSO, System operator classes)

Whip – A long thin flexible piece of metal resembling an automobile radio antenna. The thin piece of metal is located on the end of a switch. As the moving part of the switch opens, the thin piece of metal stays connected to the stationary part of the switch, thus maintaining current flow. As the switch opens more and more, the thin pieces of metal starts to bend. Once the moving part of the switch is the proper distance from the stationary part of the switch, the thin piece of metal “whips” away from the stationary part of the switch. This whipping action breaks the current that is flowing very quickly, thus minimizing melting of the contacts. (EUSO-photo, IESO)

Wild Leg - In a 3-phase delta-connected system, the phase that has a voltage between itself and ground that is 1.73 times higher than the voltages between the other two phases and ground. It is also called the bastard leg, high leg, power leg and stinger. (CAEDS, EDS)

Windings – The wire(s) that is/are looped in and out of the stator of a motor or generator, or the wires that are wrapped around a transformer’s iron core. (EUSO, IESO)

Wye – Wye has two related meanings. One meaning refers to a method of connecting three devices in a 3-phase system in which the three devices are electrically connected at a common point called the neutral. The second meaning refers to a distribution system in which the single-phase transformers are connected between a phase and the neutral, such as between Phase A and the neutral. (EUSO, CAEDS, EDS, IESO)

Wye Bank – Three devices electrically connected at a common point called the neutral. (EUSO, CAEDS, EDS, IESO)

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