Last edited 07 Sep 2020

Main author

ECA Institute / association Website

Electrical component

Capacitor-1835729 640.jpg

An electrical component is a basic, discrete device that is often connected with others, to fulfil the requirements of a circuit.

In an electrical system, such as that which forms the electrical installation of a building, electrical components comprise items provided in a mains circuit such as switching devices, like switches and isolators, protection devices such as circuit breakers and fuses, and wiring connections.

BS 7671 (IET Wiring Regulations) does not specifically recognise or make use of the word ‘component’ in this sense, preferring instead the official term electrical equipment.

It is in the field of electronics, as opposed to buildings, where the term 'electrical component’ is more widely used.

In an electronic circuit, various components will be encountered, which generally fall under one of two categories:

  • Active components – these would comprise transistors, integrated circuits (ICs), diodes and thermionic valves.
  • Passive components – these would comprise capacitors, resistors and inductors.

As far as buildings are concerned, these components would be found within electrical and electronic equipment that itself would form part of the building’s electrical system.


[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again