Edward Brown

IBS Columnist and Freelance Writer

Edward Brown is an electrical engineer, freelance writer and editor who draws on his years of practical experience designing industrial processing and high-power electronics systems. In addition to writing the Integrated Building Systems column for Electrical Contractor as The Writing Engineer, he covers the world of cutting-edge technology, automation, alternate energy, energy conservation and fire alarm and security systems. He was Managing Editor of Security and Life Safety Systems and NEC Digest Magazines. Reach him at ebeditor@gmail.com.

Articles by Edward Brown

February 2011
During these tough economic times, contractors are looking for ways to expand their business beyond the traditional installation and wiring of power systems. What follows are some ideas. READ MORE
November 2010
Insulation testers are instruments every electrician should have in the tool bag. They are handy for routine maintenance where they can be used for pass/fail testing and for troubleshooting, but they really come into their own for predictive maintenance (PdM). READ MORE
November 2010
What’s the main question on the minds of electrical contractors? I’ll bet it is, “How do I grow my business?” or “What can I do to keep it from shrinking?” Installing submeters is a sure-fire winner. As I stated in the October column, submeters can cut energy bills for users, improve the environment and provide business for contractors. READ MORE
October 2010
To integrate building systems for sustainability, you have to consider people as the most important node in the system. My feedback systems course in college didn’t mention people, but a number of the presenters at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Existing Buildings in Urban Areas Conference did. I think it should be added to the curriculum. READ MORE
September 2010
I recently spent two days at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Existing Buildings in Urban Areas conference. The theme was very clear: a key to developing a sustainable future is to reduce the energy used by existing buildings. READ MORE
August 2010
Establishing a common protocol to make it easier for systems to work together is a major goal of the security systems sector. READ MORE
July 2010
There’s a contradiction built into the idea of an integrated security system. The perfect security system would monitor every square inch of a protected area, send an instant alarm, swing surveillance cameras into place, deny access to intruders and allow access to authorized personnel the instant an event occurs. READ MORE
June 2010
The design process for a new low-voltage system should always begin with the question, “What is my customer trying to accomplish?” Once you answer that question, you can profit by talking to various manufacturers about how and at what cost you can achieve your goals. Goals Reducing costs is a major goal. How can the security system contribute to reducing costs for the building owner? READ MORE
May 2010
Security systems are very different than fire alarm systems. According to John Fenske, director of global security product management, Johnson Controls, the main difference is how the systems are adopted. Nowadays, a building cannot be occupied unless a fire alarm system is installed. A security system is not so much of a necessity and usually is installed solely at the owner’s request. READ MORE