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Glossary of terms you will come across during your Phase 2 training.


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An alloy is a mixture of metals. For example, the addition of nickel to steel increases strength and toughness. It also changes the rate of thermal expansion and the metal’s resistance to corrosion.
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The alt or alternative key on a computer.

Short for "Alternate" key. The alt key on the keyboard allows other keys have a third function. For example, the "a" key will produce a lower case "a" when used on its own. If it is pressed in conjuction with the shift key, it produces a capital "A". The alt key when used in conjuction with the "a" key would allow it to produce some new programmable function.

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Alternating current is the type of electricity we get from the mains in houses and workshops. On the Irish national grid, electrical flow alternates 50 times per second (50 Hz).

Mains voltage in Ireland is approximately 220V ac, and this is often written as 220V ~, with the tilde symbol (~) being used to represent ac. 

Also, position sensors on electronically managed engines (such as the crankshaft speed/position sensor) produce ac, but at much lower voltages. For example, on the Perkins 1100 series engines, under cranking, the crankshaft sensor produces about 0.4V ac.

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Electrical device used to generate electicity in plant vehicles. The device gets energy via a drive belt from the engine, and converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy to be used by the vehicle electrical systems. Once the engine is running, the alternator supplies all electrical loads in a plant vehicle.

The three things necessary to generate electicity.

Alternator, with part of the stator cut away and folded out to facilitate viewing the rotor.

As the name implies, the unit produces alternating current, which cannot be used by plant vehicles. This output must be rectified to direct current by using diodes.

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Non-ferrous metal, relatively soft, but much lighter than steel.
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Ambient simply means surrounding. For example, ambient temperature is the surrounding temperature.
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An ammeter is an electrical instrument for measuring electrical current.

Ammeters have very low resistance, and so must always be connected in series in a circuit:

Inserting an ammeter into a circuit.

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Ampere (often abbreviated to amps) is a measure of the rate at which a given amount of electricity flows in a circuit. This term is commonly shortened to amps.

When one coulomb of electricity has passed a given point in a circuit in one second, one ampere of electricity is said to have passed.

This figure gives us no indication of what force is pushing the electrons (voltage), but it does tell us how much and at what rate the electricity is being pushed.

1 ampere is 1 coulomb per second.

Visit here for more information on Andre-Marie Ampere, the man the unit of measurement is named after.

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The ampere hour capacity of a battery is the amount of current the battery can deliver for a given period of time.

It is usually based on a period of 10 hours.

So, a battery with a rated capacity of 60 ampere hours at the 10 hour rate should be able to supply a steady current of 6 amps for 10 hours. 

Typical battery lable.

This battery is rated at 110 Ahr. It should be able to supply a steady current of 11 amps for 10 hours.

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Waveforms with captionsAmplitude, or peak voltage, is the maximum signal voltage relative to zero.

The apmlitude or peak voltage of the waveform here is approximately 0.7V.

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