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Basic Electrical

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At the end of this chapter you should be able to:

Ÿ state the basic SI units

Ÿ recognize derived SI units

Ÿ understand prefxes denoting multiplication and division

Ÿ state the units of charge, force, work and power and perform simple calculations involving these units

Ÿ state the units of electrical potential, e.m.f., resistance, conductance, power and energy and perform simple

calculations involving these units

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The system of units used in engineering and science is

the Syst‘me Internationale d`Unit’s (International sys-

tem of units), usually abbreviated to SI units, and is

based on the metric system. This was introduced in 1960

and is now adopted by the majority of countries as the

offcial system of measurement.

The basic units in the SI system are listed with their

symbols, in Table 1.1.

Derived SI units use combinations of basic units and

there are many of them. Two examples are:

Ÿ Velocity - metres per second (m/s)

Ÿ Acceleration - metres per second squared (m/s

2

SI units may be made larger or smaller by using prefxes

which denote multiplication or division by a particu-

lar amount. The six most common multiples, with their

meaning, are listed in Table 1.2. For a more complete

list of prefxes, see page 4.

Table 1.1 Basic SI Units

Quantity Unit

length metre, m

mass kilogram, kg

time second, s

electric current ampere, A

thermodynamic temperature kelvin, K

luminous intensity candela, cd

amount of substance mole, mol

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The unit of charge is the coulomb (C) where

one coulomb is one ampere second. (1coulomb ã

6.24I10

18

electrons). The coulomb is defned as the

quantity of electricity which fows past a given point

DOI: 10.1016/B978-1-85617-770-2.00001-X

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Table 1.2

Prehx Name Meaning

M mega multiply by 1000000 (i.e. I10

6

)

k kilo multiply by 1000 (i.e. I10

3

)

m milli divide by 1000 (i.e. I10

3

)

k micro divide by 1000000 (i.e. I10

6

)

n nano divide by 1000000000 (i.e. I10

9

)

p pico divide by 1000000000000 (i.e. I10

12

)

in an electric circuit when a current of one ampere is

maintained for one second. Thus,

charge, in coulombs Ïã×¬

where I is the current in amperes and t is the time in

seconds.

Problem 1. If a current of 5A fows for 2

minutes, fnd the quantity of electricity transferred.

Quantity of electricity QãIt coulombs

I ã5A, t ã2I60ã120s

Hence Qã5I120ã600 C

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The unit of force is the newton (N) where one newton

is one kilogram metre per second squared. The newton

is defned as the force which, when applied to a mass of

one kilogram, gives it an acceleration of one metre per

second squared. Thus,

force, in newtons Úã³¿

where m is the mass in kilograms and a is the accelera-

tion in metres per second squared. Gravitational force,

or weight, is mg, where g ã9.81m/s

2

.

Problem 2. A mass of 5000g is accelerated at

2m/s

2

by a force. Determine the force needed.

Force ãmassIacceleration

ã5kgI2m/s

2

ã10

kg m

s

2

ã10 N

Problem 3. Find the force acting vertically

downwards on a mass of 200g attached to a wire.

Massã200gã0.2kg and acceleration due to gravity,

gã9.81m/s

2

Force acting downwardsãweight ãmassIacceleration

ã0.2kgI9.81m/s

2

ã1.962 N

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The unit of work or energy is the joule (J) where one

joule is one newton metre. The joule is defned as the

work done or energy transferred when a force of one

newton is exerted through a distance of one metre in the

direction of the force. Thus

work done on a body, in joules ÉãÚ-

where F is the force in newtons and s is the distance in

metres moved by the body in the direction of the force.

Energy is the capacity for doing work.

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The unit of power is the watt (W) where one watt is one

joule per second. Power is defned as the rate of doing

work or transferring energy. Thus,

power in watts, Ðã

É

¬

where W is the work done or energy transferred in joules

and t is the time in seconds. Thus

energy, in joules, ÉãÐ¬

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Problem 4. A portable machine requires a force

of 200N to move it. How much work is done if the

machine is moved 20m and what average power is

utilized if the movement takes 25s?

Work done ãforce Idistance ã 200NI20m

ã 4000Nm or 4 kJ

Power ã

work done

time taken

ã

4000J

25s

ã160J/s ã160W

Problem 5. A mass of 1000kg is raised through a

height of 10m in 20s. What is (a) the work done

and (b) the power developed?

(a) Work doneãforceIdistance and

forceãmassIacceleration

Hence, work done ã(1000kgI9.81m/s

2

) I(10m)

ã98100Nm

ã98.1 kNm or 98.1kJ

(b) Power ã

work done

time taken

ã

98100J

20s

ã 4905J/s

ã4905W or 4.905kW

Now try the following exercise

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(Take gã9.81m/s

2

where appropriate)

1. What forceis requiredtogiveamass of 20kg

an acceleration of 30m/s

2

? [600N]

2. Findtheaccelerating forcewhenacar having

a mass of 1.7Mg increases its speed with a

constant acceleration of 3m/s

2

[5.1kN]

3. A force of 40N accelerates a mass at 5m/s

2

.

Determine the mass. [8kg]

4. Determine the force acting downwards

on a mass of 1500g suspended on a

string. [14.72N]

5. Aforce of 4Nmoves an object 200cmin the

direction of the force. What amount of work

is done? [8J]

6. A force of 2.5kN is required to lift a load.

How much work is done if the load is lifted

through 500cm? [12.5kJ]

7. An electromagnet exerts a force of 12N and

moves a soft iron armature through a dis-

tance of 1.5cm in 40ms. Find the power

consumed. [4.5W]

8. A mass of 500kg is raised to a height of 6m

in 30s. Find (a) the work done and (b) the

power developed.

[(a) 29.43kNm (b) 981W]

9. What quantity of electricity is carried by

6.24I10

21

electrons? [1000C]

10. In what time would a current of 1A transfer

a charge of 30 C? [30s]

11. A current of 3 A fows for 5 minutes. What

charge is transferred? [900 C]

12. How long must a current of 0.1A fow so as

to transfer a charge of 30 C? [5 minutes]

13. Rewrite the following as indicated:

(a) 1000pFã nF

(b) 0.02kFã . pF

(c) 5000kHzã MHz

(d) 47k ã M

(e) 0.32mAã kA

[(a) 1nF (b) 20000pF (c) 5MHz

(d) 0.047M (e) 320kA]

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The unit of electric potential is the volt (V) where one

volt is one joule per coulomb. One volt is defned as the

differenceinpotential betweentwopoints inaconductor

which, whencarryingacurrent of oneampere, dissipates

a power of one watt, i.e.

volts ã

watts

amperes

ã

joules/second

amperes

ã

joules

ampere seconds

ã

joules

coulombs

A change in electric potential between two points in

an electric circuit is called a potential difference. The

electromotive force (e.m.f.) provided by a source of

energy such as a battery or a generator is measured in

volts.

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The unit of electric resistance is the ohm ( ) where

one ohm is one volt per ampere. It is defned as the

resistance between two points in a conductor when a

constant electric potential of one volt applied at the two

points produces a current fow of one ampere in the

conductor. Thus,

resistance, in ohms Îã

Ê

×

where V is the potential difference across the two points

in volts and I is the current fowing between the two

points in amperes.

The reciprocal of resistance is called conductance

and is measured in siemens (S). Thus,

conductance, in siemens Ùã

1

Î

where R is the resistance in ohms.

Problem 6. Find the conductance of a conductor

of resistance (a) 10 , (b) 5k and (c) 100m .

(a) Conductance Gã

1

R

ã

1

10

siemenã0.1 S

(b) Gã

1

R

ã

1

5I10

3

Sã0.2I10

3

Sã0.2 mS

(c) Gã

1

R

ã

1

100I10

3

Sã

10

3

100

Sã10 S

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When a direct current of I amperes is fowing in an elec-

tric circuit and the voltage across the circuit is V volts,

then

power, in watts Ð ã Ê×

Electrical energy ãPower Itime

ãÊ×¬ Joules

Although the unit of energy is the joule, when deal-

ing with large amounts of energy, the unit used is the

kilowatt hour (kWh) where

1kWh ã 1000 watt hour

ã 1000I3600 watt seconds or joules

ã 3600000J

Problem 7. A source e.m.f. of 5V supplies a

current of 3A for 10 minutes. How much energy is

provided in this time?

Energyãpower Itime and power ãvoltageIcurrent.

Hence

EnergyãVIt ã5I3I(10I60) ã9000Ws or J

ã9kJ

Problem 8. An electric heater consumes 1.8MJ

when connected to a 250V supply for 30 minutes.

Find the power rating of the heater and the current

taken from the supply.

Energyãpower Itime, hence

power ã

energy

time

ã

1 8 I10

6

J

30 I60s

ã1000J/sã1000W

i.e. Power rating of heater ã1 kW

Power PãVI, thus I ã

P

V

ã

1000

250

ã4A

Hence the current taken from the supply is 4A.

Now try the following exercise

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¿--±½·¿¬»¼ ©·¬¸ ¾¿-·½ »´»½¬®·½¿´

¯«¿²¬·¬·»-

1. Find the conductance of a resistor of resistance

(a) 10 (b) 2k (c) 2m

[(a) 0.1S (b) 0.5mS (c) 500S]

2. Aconductor has a conductance of 50kS. What

is its resistance? [20k ]

3. An e.m.f. of 250V is connected across a

resistance and the current fowing through the

resistance is 4A. What is thepower developed?

[1kW]

4. 450J of energy are converted into heat in

1 minute. What power is dissipated? [7.5W]

5. A current of 10A fows through a conductor

and 10W is dissipated. What p.d. exists across

the ends of the conductor? [1V]

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6. A battery of e.m.f. 12V supplies a current

of 5A for 2 minutes. How much energy is

supplied in this time? [7.2kJ]

7. Adc electric motor consumes 36MJ when con-

nected to a 250V supply for 1 hour. Find the

power rating of the motor and the current taken

from the supply. [10kW, 40A]

ïòç Í«³³¿®§ ±º ¬»®³-ô «²·¬- ¿²¼

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Quantity Quantity Unit Unit

Symbol Symbol

Length l metre m

Mass m kilogram kg

Time t second s

Velocity metres per m/s or

second ms

1

Acceleration a metres per m/s

2

or

second ms

2

squared

Force F newton N

Electrical Q coulomb C

charge or

quantity

Electric current I ampere A

Resistance R ohm

Conductance G siemen S

Electromotive E volt V

force

Potential V volt V

difference

Work W joule J

Energy E (or W) joule J

Power P watt W

As progress is made through Electrical Circuit Theory

and Technology many more terms will be met. A full

list of electrical quantities, together with their symbols

and units are given in Part 4, page 725.

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