Systems

 

 

Integrated electrical and low-voltage systems of all types—inside and outside a building—encompass the range of work that electrical contractors do. The articles in this section highlight different types of work, from security, fire and life safety, to traditional electrical power and distribution, to lighting, cabling and more. 

Energy consumer demand for distributed-energy resources (DER) is growing for a number of reasons—unexpected utility power outages, planned rolling blackouts, power quality problems, increases in power costs, etc.


The 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor reveals how electrical contractors see the industry changing and how they intend to adapt. Change occurs in the fire alarm and communications world as well. As you know, keeping up with these changes can prove difficult. 


Evolution in action


Much has been said and written about analog video cameras and the move to internet protocol (IP) networked digital surveillance. Some predicted the demise of analog and takeover by IP devices would progress quickly, but clearly that hasn’t happened.

A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes.

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Evolution in action

Find Your Comfort Zone

Much has been said and written about analog video cameras and the move to internet protocol (IP) networked digital surveillance. Some predicted the demise of analog and takeover by IP devices would progress quickly, but clearly that hasn’t happened.


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The Curious Case of Voltage Sags

A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes.


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IoT to Continue Rise in Residential and Industrial Sectors

A June 2016 report, "Market Data: IoT for Residential Energy Customers," published by Navigant Research, examines the global market for devices and services that are considered to be part of the residential "Internet of Things" (IoT), including forecasts for shipments, installed base, average sellin


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Defending Critical Infrastructure Against EMPs

United States’ military strategists have talked about the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike since the Cold War in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.


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A local microgrid in Sendai, Japan
Microgrids Expanding in the United States

One of the byproducts of the surge in renewable power and smart technology has been the expansion of microgrids. According to recent reports, the systems are expanding nationwide.


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Aquila in position prior to takeoff. (From left: Kathryn Cook, technical program manager for Aquila; Yael Maguire, head of Connectivity Lab; Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO; Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure)
Facebook Tests a Solar-Powered Internet Drone

On June 28th, Facebook launched Aquila, a high-altitude, unmanned solar-powered airplane, for its first flight at Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz. Although the team has been running tests and practice flights for months, until this point, only a 1/5th scale airplane had been tested.


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Integration Opens Doors

The evolution of intelligent building system technology has triggered shifting roles for contractors and integrators, and the choices they make in their own specializations over the coming years can mean the difference between winning contracts and keeping customers or becoming less relevant.


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