Electrical Terms and Acronyms You Should Know

Whether you are familiar with electrical terms or not, it’s always a great idea to familiarize yourself with the different acronyms associated with it. After all, electrical abbreviations apply throughout several industries. It goes beyond just electrical wiring. You can find electrical terms in the automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries. These acronyms apply to various circuits, sizes, conduits, and more! Because electrical work can sometimes make a big impact on you financially, understanding the different abbreviations and acronyms are beneficial.
 

Electrical Terms You’ve Probably Heard Before.

 
Let’s start with AC, also known as “Air Conditioning.” We all have heard of an AC before. If it’s a hot and humid day, there’s nothing like entering a nice cool room with AC. AC is the process of removing heat and moisture from the interior of an occupied space. This is to create one thing in mind: comfort! It uses a fan to distribute conditioned air to spaces like a room or a car.
 
Now let’s talk EMF, or “Electromagnetic Field.” Sounds like an electrical term you’ve heard in a superhero movie, right? This is a physical field that electrically charged objects produce. It’ll change the behavior of any charged object in the fields’ vicinity. Its force is much stronger than a magnetic field!
 
Let’s move onto dB, or “Decibels.” This is often expressed in electrical and acoustic measurements. It’s the number that represents a ratio of two values. Decibels main purpose is to scale a large measurement range down to a much smaller and more useable range. dB is most commonly used in electronics, signals, and communication.
 
How about DC, or “Direct Current”? DC is the one-direction flow of current. So basically, electrons move in the same direction. Ah, or “Amp-hour,” is pretty simple. It’s 1 amp of current flowing for 1 hour. This is the most common unit of measurement for a battery’s capacity.
 

So Many Terms, It Hertz!

 
That brings us to Hz, or “Hertz.Named from Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, the first person to provide proof of electromagnetic waves. Herz is the derived unit of frequency in the International System of Units. It is most commonly expressed in multiples like kilohertz, megahertz, gigahertz, and terahertz.
 
BW, or “Bandwidth,” is the difference between upper and lower frequencies. This is usually measured in Hertz. It separates into two different types of bandwidth, a passband, and baseband. Passband bandwidth is the difference between the upper and lower cutoff frequencies. A good example of this would be a signal spectrum. A baseband bandwidth applies to a low-pass filter.
 
Now let’s get a bit more challenging with electrical terms! GFCI, or “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter,” has an extremely important role. What is it? Well, it prevents electrocution! If someone starts to receive a shock, the GFCI senses it and will automatically cut off the power before matters get worse! They are installed where electrical circuits could come into contact with water, like a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. Consider a GFCI the superhero of electrical wiring.
 
Now let’s talk about OCV, or “Open Circuit Voltage.” This is the difference of electrical potential between two terminals of a device when disconnected from any circuit. No external electric current flows between the terminals, and no external load is connected. This can also be known as the voltage that must be applied to a solar cell or battery to stop the current.
 

Some Extra Acronyms.

 
J, or “Joule,” comes from the English physicist James Prescott Joule. You’ve probably heard this one before in science class back in school. It is a derived unit of energy in the International System of Units. A Joule is equal to the energy transferred to an object when a force of one Newton acts on that object. It is also the energy dissipated as heat.
 
kWh, or “Kilowatt hour” is probably an electrical term that reminds you of your energy bill. It is the billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by electric utilities. kWh is the unit of energy equal to 3.6 megajoules.
 
MW, or “Megawatt,” is an electrical term many of us may be familiar with. After all, many machines produce or sustain the conversion of energy on this scale. This includes large electrical motors, aircraft carriers, cruise ships, and submarines! It is also used for large data centers and server farms, and some scientific research equipment like supercolliders. Maybe you didn’t need to know that one, but consider it a bonus electrical term!
 
Lastly, there is RF, or “Radio Frequency.” This refers to a wireless electromagnetic signal used to communicate. Radio waves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. The radio frequencies range from 3kHz to 300 GHz.
 

Talk To Someone Today.

 
So now that you are an electrical term expert, what other questions do you have? Don’t hesitate to talk to someone today here.