Glossary

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Browse terms related to these fuel groups:   alternative fuels    coal     electricity     natural gas     nuclear     petroleum    renewable

v

V:  See Volt

Vacuum distillation:  Distillation under reduced pressure (less the atmospheric) which lowers the boiling temperature of the liquid being distilled. This technique with its relatively low temperatures prevents cracking or decomposition of the charge stock.

Value (of shipments):  The value received for the complete systems at the company's net billing price, freight-on-board factory, including charges for cooperative advertising and warranties. This does not include excise taxes, freight or transportation charges, or installation charges.

Value added by manufacture:  A measure of manufacturing activity that is derived by subtracting the cost of materials (which covers materials, supplies, containers, fuel, purchased electricity, and contract work) from the value of shipments. This difference is then adjusted by the net change in finished goods and work-in-progress between the beginning- and end-of-year inventories.

Vapor displacement:  The release of vapors that had previously occupied space above liquid fuels stored in tanks. These releases occur when tanks are emptied and filled.

Vapor retarder:  A material that retards the movement of water vapor through a building element (walls, ceilings) and prevents insulation and structural wood from becoming damp and metals from corroding. Often applied to insulation batts or separately in the form of treated papers, plastic sheets, and metallic foils.

Vapor-dominated geothermal system:  A conceptual model of a hydrothermal system where steam pervades the rock and is the pressure-controlling fluid phase.

Variable air volume (VAV) system on the heating and cooling system:  A means of varying the amount of conditioned air to a space. A variable air volume system maintains the air flow at a constant temperature, but supplies varying quantities of conditioned air in different parts of the building according to the heating and cooling needs.

Variable fuel vehicle:  See Flexible fuel vehicle.

Variable-speed wind turbines:  Turbines in which the rotor speed increases and decreases with changing wind speed, producing electricity with a variable frequency.

VAWT:  See Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine

Vehicle fuel consumption:  Vehicle fuel consumption is computed as the vehicle miles traveled divided by the fuel efficiency reported in miles per gallon (MPG). Vehicle fuel consumption is derived from the actual vehicle mileage collected and the assigned MPGs obtained from EPA certification files adjusted for on-road driving. The quantity of fuel used by vehicles.

Vehicle fuel efficiencies:  See Miles per gallon.

Vehicle fuel expenditures:  The cost, including taxes, of the gasoline, gasohol, or diesel fuel added to the vehicle's tank. Expenditures do not include the cost of oil or other items that may have been purchased at the same time as the vehicle fuel.

Vehicle identification number (VIN):  A set of codes, usually alphanumeric characters, assigned to a vehicle at the factory and inscribed on the vehicle. When decoded, the VIN provides vehicle characteristics. The VIN is used to help match vehicles to the EPA certification file for calculating MPGs.

Vehicle importer:  An original vehicle manufacturer (of foreign or domestic ownership) that imports vehicles as finished products into the United States.

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT):  The number of miles traveled nationally by vehicles for a period of 1 year. VMT is either calculated using two odometer readings or, for vehicles with less than two odometer readings, imputed using a regression estimate.

Vented:  Natural gas that is disposed of by releasing to the atmosphere.

Vented natural gas:  See vented.

Vented/Flared:  Gas that is disposed of by releasing (venting) or burning (flaring).

Ventilation system:  A method for reducing methane concentrations in coal mines to non-explosive levels by blowing air across the mine face and using large exhaust fans to remove methane while mining operations proceed.

Vertical integration:  The combination within a firm or business enterprise of one or more stages of production or distribution. In the electric industry, it refers to the historical arrangement whereby a utility owns its own generating plants, transmission system, and distribution lines to provide all aspects of electric service.

Vertical-axis wind turbine (VAWT):  A type of wind turbine in which the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the windstream and the ground.

Vessel:  A ship used to transport crude oil, petroleum products, or natural gas products. Vessel categories are as follows: Ultra Large Crude Carrier (ULCC), Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), Other Tanker, and Specialty Ship (LPG/LNG). See Tanker and Barge.

Vessel bunkering:  Includes sales for the fueling of commercial or private boats, such as pleasure craft, fishing boats, tugboats, and ocean-going vessels, including vessels operated by oil companies. Excluded are volumes sold to the U.S. Armed Forces.

VIN:  See Vehicle Identification Number

VIN (vehicle identification number):  A set of about 17 codes, combining letters and numbers, assigned to a vehicle at the factory and inscribed on a small metal label attached to the dashboard and visible through the windshield. The VIN is a unique identifier for the vehicle and therefore is often found on insurance cards, vehicle registrations, vehicle titles, safety or emission certificates, insurance policies, and bills of sale. The coded information in the VIN describes characteristics of the vehicle such as engine size and weight.

Virgin coal:  Coal that has not been accessed by mining.

Visbreaking:  A thermal cracking process in which heavy atmospheric or vacuum-still bottoms are cracked at moderate temperatures to increase production of distillate products and reduce viscosity of the distillation residues.

VLCC:   Very Large Crude Carrier

VMT:  See Vehicle Miles Traveled

VOC:  See Volatile Organic Compound

Volatile matter:  Those products, exclusive of moisture, given off by a material as gas or vapor. Volatile matter is determined by heating the coal to 950 degrees Centigrade under carefully controlled conditions and measuring the weight loss, excluding weight of moisture driven off at 105 degrees Centigrade.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs):  Organic compounds that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions.

Volatile solids:  A solid material that is readily decomposable at relatively low temperatures.

Volt (V):  The volt is the International System of Units(SI) measure of electric potential or electromotive force. A potential of one volt appears across a resistance of one ohm when a current of one ampere flows through that resistance. Reduced to SI base units, 1 V = 1kg times m2 times s-3 times A-1(kilogram meter squared per second cubed per ampere).

Voltage:  The difference in electrical potential between any two conductors or between a conductor and ground. It is a measure of the electric energy per electron that electrons can acquire and/or give up as they move between the two conductors.

Voltage reduction:  Any intentional reduction of system voltage by 3 percent or greater for reasons of maintaining the continuity of service of the bulk electric power supply system.

Volumetric wires charge:  See Quantity wires charge.