Electrical fundamentals

Basic Module 3

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This module is required for the following AML categories:


Issued on Regulation (EU) 2018/1142

  • Structure and distribution of electrical charges within: atoms, molecules, ions, compounds;
  • Molecular structure of conductors, semiconductors and insulators.
  • Static electricity and distribution of electrostatic charges;
  • Electrostatic laws of attraction and repulsion;
  • Units of charge, Coulomb’s Law;
  • Conduction of electricity in solids, liquids, gases and a vacuum.
  • The following terms, their units and factors affecting them: potential difference, electromotive force, voltage, current, resistance, conductance, charge, conventional current flow, electron flow.
  • Production of electricity by the following methods: light, heat, friction, pressure, chemical action, magnetism and motion.
  • Construction and basic chemical action of: primary cells, secondary cells, lead acid cells, nickel cadmium cells, other alkaline cells;
  • Cells connected in series and parallel;
  • Internal resistance and its effect on a battery;
  • Construction, materials and operation of thermocouples;
  • Operation of photo-cells.
  • Ohms Law, Kirchoff’s Voltage and Current Laws;
  • Calculations using the above laws to find resistance, voltage and current;
  • Significance of the internal resistance of a supply.
  • (A)
    • Resistance and affecting factors;
    • Specific resistance;
    • Resistor colour code, values and tolerances, preferred values, wattage ratings;
    • Resistors in series and parallel;
    • Calculation of total resistance using series, parallel and series parallel combinations;
    • Operation and use of potentiometers and rheostats;
    • Operation of Wheatstone Bridge;
  • (B)
    • Positive and negative temperature coefficient conductance;
    • Fixed resistors, stability, tolerance and limitations, methods of construction;
    • Variable resistors, thermistors, voltage dependent resistors;
    • Construction of potentiometers and rheostats;
    • Construction of Wheatstone Bridge.
  • Power, work and energy (kinetic and potential);
  • Dissipation of power by a resistor;
  • Power formula;
  • Calculations involving power, work and energy.
  • Operation and function of a capacitor;
  • Factors affecting capacitance area of plates, distance between plates, number of plates, dielectric and dielectric constant, working voltage, voltage rating;
  • Capacitor types, construction and function;
  • Capacitor colour coding;
  • Calculations of capacitance and voltage in series and parallel circuits;
  • Exponential charge and discharge of a capacitor, time constants;
  • Testing of capacitors.
  • (A)
    • Theory of magnetism;
    • Properties of a magnet;
    • Action of a magnet suspended in the Earth’s magnetic field;
    • Magnetisation and demagnetisation;
    • Magnetic shielding;
    • Various types of magnetic material;
    • Electromagnets construction and principles of operation;
    • Hand clasp rules to determine: magnetic field around current carrying conductor;
  • (B)
    • Magnetomotive force, field strength, magnetic flux density, permeability, hysteresis loop, retentivity, coercive force reluctance, saturation point, eddy currents;
    • Precautions for care and storage of magnets.
  • Faraday’s Law;
  • Action of inducing a voltage in a conductor moving in a magnetic field;
  • Induction principles;
  • Effects of the following on the magnitude of an induced voltage: magnetic field strength, rate of change of flux, number of conductor turns;
  • Mutual induction;
  • The effect the rate of change of primary current and mutual inductance has on induced voltage;
  • Factors affecting mutual inductance: number of turns in coil, physical size of coil, permeability of coil, position of coils with respect to each other;
  • Lenz’s Law and polarity determining rules;
  • Back emf, self induction;
  • Saturation point;
  • Principle uses of inductors.
  • Basic motor and generator theory;
  • Construction and purpose of components in DC generator;
  • Operation of, and factors affecting output and direction of current flow in DC generators;
  • Operation of, and factors affecting output power, torque, speed and direction of rotation of DC motors;
  • Series wound, shunt wound and compound motors;
  • Starter Generator construction.
  • Sinusoidal waveform: phase, period, frequency, cycle;
  • Instantaneous, average, root mean square, peak, peak to peak current values and calculations of these values, in relation to voltage, current and power;
  • Triangular/Square waves;
  • Single/3 phase principles.
  • Phase relationship of voltage and current in L, C and R circuits, parallel, series and series parallel;
  • Power dissipation in L, C and R circuits;
  • Impedance, phase angle, power factor and current calculations;
  • True power, apparent power and reactive power calculations.
  • Transformer construction principles and operation;
  • Transformer losses and methods for overcoming them;
  • Transformer action under load and no-load conditions;
  • Power transfer, efficiency, polarity markings;
  • Calculation of line and phase voltages and currents;
  • Calculation of power in a three phase system;
  • Primary and Secondary current, voltage, turns ratio, power, efficiency;
  • Auto transformers.
  • Operation, application and uses of the following filters: low pass, high pass, band pass, band stop.
  • Rotation of loop in a magnetic field and waveform produced;
  • Operation and construction of revolving armature and revolving
    field type AC generators;
  • Single phase, two phase and three phase alternators;
  • Three phase star and delta connections advantages and uses;
  • Permanent Magnet Generators.
  • Construction, principles of operation and characteristics of: AC synchronous and induction motors both single and polyphase;
  • Methods of speed control and direction of rotation;
  • Methods of producing a rotating field: capacitor, inductor, shaded or split pole.


  • AML Cat B1 & B2
    52 multi-choice and 0 essay questions.
    Time allowed: 65 minutes.

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