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Unit A - Module 1

Module 1- Unit A Vocabulary

alternating current (AC) an electric current that reverses its direction at regularly recurring intervals
balancing authority a regional organization responsible for planning for and maintaining the balance of electricity resources and electricity demand
blackout power loss affecting many consumers over a large geographical area for a significant period of time
cogeneration process in which electricity and heat are produced at the same time from the same fuel or energy source
conductor a material along which electrons easily flow; the opposite of a conductor is an insulator
current a flow of electrons along a path, such as a conductive wire
direct current (DC) current that moves in only one direction; DC results from a constant polarity power source
economies of scale when cost of production falls because output has increased
effluent substance released into a body of water
electrical power grid interconnected electric generation, transmission, and distribution systems over broad geographic areas - Eastern, Western, and Texas
electron negatively charged particle outside the nucleus of an atom
electrostatic precipitator a device for removing small particles from a gas, such as air, by passing the gas first through an electrically charged screen that gives a charge to the particles, then between two charged plates where the particles are attracted to one surface
emissions substances released into the environment; usually used to refer to substances discharged into the air
greenhouse gas gases that trap heat in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydro-fluorocarbons
holding company a company which owns or holds stock in other companies, which it then manages and operates
hydroelectric power power generated by using moving water to power a turbine generator to produce electricity
load device or customer that receives power from the electric system
load diversity when the peak demands of a variety of electric customers occur at different times
natural monopoly when small companies can't compete with large; results from large companies being able to operate more efficiently (economy of scale) and offer services more cheaply, or when a huge capital investment for equipment is required to get into the market
obligation to serve the obligation of a utility to provide electric service to any customer who seeks that service, and is willing to pay the rates set for that service
peak load time of highest demand for and use of electricity
polarity the orientation of the positive and negative poles of a power source
pollution the introduction of harmful contaminants into the environment
public utility maintains the infrastructure for providing a public service such as gas, electric, water, and waste-disposal service
reliability the power system is able to meet the electricity needs of customers even when equipment fails or other factors reduce the amount of available electricity; consists of adequacy and security of the electricity supply to customers
smart grid an electrical charge that cannot move, created when two objects have been in contact and then are separated - leaving them with either too many or too few electrons (an electric charge)
stepped down conversion of high voltage electricity to lower voltage through the use of transformers at power substations
stepped up conversion of low voltage electricity to higher voltage through the use of transformers; a substation receives electric power from a nearby generating facility and uses a large power transformer to increase the voltage for transmission
transformer a device that changes the voltage of an electric current
wet scrubbers installed on smokestacks to remove sulfur dioxides and some particulates by allowing exhaust gases to pass through a fine water spray that contains lime, a compound which absorbs most of the sulfur
Created by: Trac-7