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Fundamentals of Electricity

Azhar Khairuddin

The nature Current, voltage,
of electricity power, energy

Fundamentals of DC: AC:

frequency, polyphase

Real, reactive,
An overall perspective and apparent power:
of Electrical Engineering power factor

Fundamentals of Electricity
- The Nature of Electricity
• Electrical Engineering
• discipline that deals with the study and application of
electricity, electronics, and magnetism
• concerned with using electricity to transmit energy
• Electricity
• property of matter that results from the presence or movement
of electric charge. Together with magnetism, it constitutes
• responsible for many well-known phenomena such as
lightning, electric field, electric current
• put to use in industrial applications such as electronics and
electric power.

Charge and Electricity

• Charge – electrical property of

atomic particles of which
matter consists, measured in
coulombs (C)
• Atom consists of electrons,
protons, and neutrons.
• Charge of an electron = 1.602
x 10-19 C

Electric Current
• Rate at which charges flow past a
point in a closed loop (circuit)
consisting of a potential source
• Measured in ampere (unit is A)
• 1 ampere = 1 coulomb / 1 second
• Conventional direction from
positive to negative terminal of
the voltage source – actual
direction is according to electron
flow (negative to positive)


• The difference of
electrical potential
between two points of an
electrical network (in
Volt, V)
• A measure of the ability of
an electric field to cause
an electric current in an
electrical conductor

Hydraulic Analogy
• Water circulating in a
pipe, driven by pump as
an analogy of an electrical
• Fluid pressure difference
between two points
correspond to potential
(voltage) difference
• With pressure difference
between two points, then
water flowing from the
first point to the second
can do work
• Similarly with potential
difference, electron can
flow – current do the work 7
Ohm’s Law
• Potential difference between two
points along a connected path
and the current flowing through
it are proportional at a fixed
V = IR
Georg Simon Ohm

V is the potential difference, German physicist

I is the current, (1787–1854)

R is a resistance of conductor.
Resistance of the conductor
Also varies with
• temperature
• frequency
• Spiralling of
Power and Energy
• Work done to move water is equal to the pressure
multiplied by the volume of water moved.
• Similarly, in an electrical circuit, the work done to
move electrons is equal to 'electrical pressure' (an
old term for voltage) multiplied by the quantity of
electrical charge moved

Power = Voltage x Current (P = VI) , in Watt

Work done (Energy) = Power x time (Ws)
Normally in EE, Energy is in kWh

Direct Current vs Alternating Current

• constant flow of charge
(current) from high to low

• Current whose magnitude and
direction vary cyclically
• The usual waveform of AC is
sine wave -the most efficient
transmission of electrical
Alternating Current

• Maximum Value, Imax

• Root mean square
(Effective) value, Irms
I max
I rms =
• Period, T
• Frequency, f
f =

DC vs AC Generation
DC generation is from AC generation is from
• Battery • AC Generator
• Rectifier
• DC Generator

Three Phase AC System
• Waveform same in
magnitude and shape
but different in phase
• Phase difference is
• Connection can be
either delta or wye

In power calculation, normally, rms (effective) values are used

In DC circuit,
Resistance - the only element considered in DC circuit
P = VI (a constant) , in Watt (W)

In AC circuit,
v and i are varying against time
Resistance, inductance and capacitance can affect the AC system

Resistance consume power (real and active power)

Inductance takes power from and returns it to source
Capacitance produces power and takes the same power back
Reactive power – relates to inductance and capacitance
Power Factor
• Cos of the angle between voltage and current

• For purely resistive circuit, voltage is in phase with current

Pf = 1 since cos θ = 0

• For inductive circuit, current lags voltage by an angle

Pf < 1 (lagging) since cos θ between 0 and 90o

• For capacitive circuit, current leads voltage by an angle

Pf < 1 (leading) since cos θ between 0 and 90o

Power Factor,
Real, Reactive and Apparent Power

Instantaneous Power
p(t) = v(t) x i(t)

Average (Real, Active)

P = ∫ p(t)dt = Vrms x I rms x cosθ

• Real power is the power
measured by TNB meter
P = Vrms x Irms x pf
• Reactive Power
produced by capacitance or
taken by inductance
Q = sqrt (S2 – P2)

• Apparent power
– Sum (in complex no. form) of P
and Q
– Rating of power system
components such as generator,
transformers, etc
S = Vrms x Irms

Power Factor Correction
• TNB penalise for low
pf of less than 0.85

• To avoid penalty,
large user may
improve pf by
– Installing capacitor
– Use synchronous

Overall Perspective of EE
• Research in electricity was
intensified in the 19th century
– Georg Ohm in 1827 proposed Ohm’s
– Micheal Faraday discovered
electromagnetic induction in 1831
– James Clark Maxwell published a
unified theory of electricity and Ohm
magnetism in 1873
– During these years, the study of Faraday
electricity was largely considered to
be a subfield of physic
• In the late 19th century that
universities started to offer degrees
in electrical engineering.
Maxwell 20
• The Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany
– founded the first chair and the first faculty of electrical
engineering in 1882
– introduced the world's first courses of study in electrical
engineering in 1883
• University College London, UK
– founded the first chair of electrical engineering in 1885
• University of Missouri, USA
– established the first department of electrical engineering
in the US in 1886

• In 1882, Thomas Alva Edison
switched on the world's first large-
scale electrical supply network that
provided 110 volts DC to fifty-nine
customers in lower Manhattan
– Developed incandecent lamp and
• In 1887, Nikola Tesla filed a number
of patents related to a competing form
of AC power distribution
– Also contributed on the development of
induction motor and polyphase system


Educating EE
• EE possess a degree in Electrical Engineering
• The length of study usually four or five years
• The degree covers physics, mathematics, project
management, and specific topics in Electrical
• Some electrical engineers also choose to pursue a
postgraduate degree such as a Master or PhD in

Info :
Practising EE
• In most countries, a Bachelor's degree in engineering
represents the first step towards profesional
certification and the degree program itself is certified
by a professional body
• After completing a certified degree program the
engineer must satisfy a range of requirements
(including work experience requirements) before being
• Once certified the engineer is designated the title of
Professional Engineer
Info :
The End