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

July 2009
While the dominant theme at ISC West was going digital and networking, the 2009 Lightfair International was all about going green—how smart use of lighting can make big reductions in energy consumption. Of course, a large piece of that was cutting down on energy usage by going digital and networking. I heard a couple points over and over at the lectures and at booth visits: READ MORE
June 2009
My visit to the International Security Conference (ISC West 2009 in Las Vegas) was a good chance to get an idea of some of the trends in our business. I sensed some running themes in what I saw and heard. The trend is to treat security devices as part of a system rather than as isolated components. READ MORE
May 2009
Duct detectors are installed through the wall of a duct in order to sense whether smoke is present in the air-circulation system. They have three main functional parts: a sampling tube, the detector itself and an exhaust tube. The length of the sampling tube is chosen to sense across a cross-section of the duct. READ MORE
April 2009
Air-duct smoke detectors are not the same as open-area room detectors. Area detectors’ main function is to sense smoke as a sign of fire. Duct detectors are designed to trigger a fire alarm and also to reduce the circulation of smoke through heating, ventilating and air conditioning ducts (HVAC). Why is this so important? READ MORE
March 2009
With distributed sources, there can be a mix of grid-connected and grid-independent sources. For example, take the combination of photovoltaic sources in this figure. Ideally, there should be a mix of centralized and decentralized (distributed) generators. READ MORE
March 2009
Internet protocol (IP), the hottest trend in integrated building systems, is attracting interest because any computer with an Internet connection can talk to any building system that runs a digital addressable IP network. READ MORE
February 2009
The great thing about managing demand is the same strategies that reduce an electric bill by shaving demand peaks will enable a customer to develop control strategies to reduce his or her total electricity usage. READ MORE
January 2009
Alternative energy sources are all over the news these days as a means of achieving fossil fuel independence, while addressing global warming. Many issues must be addressed in order to enable sources, such as wind and solar, to make practical contributions to our supply of electricity. However, this cannot occur in isolation. READ MORE
January 2009
Real-world experiments to reduce electricity costs by automatically reducing peak demand provide information that can be used to convince end-users these measures lead to significant monetary savings. California READ MORE

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