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. 

Splicing safety mostly follows the same guidelines installers use when installing any fiber optic cable plant. However, there are some special issues to be aware of.

My January 2015 article, “It’s Just Math,” explained how various parameters used to evaluate power quality (PQ) are derived while avoiding formulas and other mathematical expressions.

Electrical contractors (ECs) are bearing witness to dramatic changes in the physical security industry. Everything is moving to the network. Customers connect to systems and services with smartphone apps.

In my 40-plus years in fire protection, I have learned that electrical contractors (ECs) sell and install the lion’s share of fire alarm systems in medium- to large-size buildings. Most of these contractors also finish the installation, pass the acceptance test and move on to the next project.

More on Systems

 
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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Testing 1, 2, 3: Fiber Optic Splices


Once a technician has spliced a fiber optic cable, he or she must test the splice to verify it is strong and has low loss. The technician must add the test data to the documentation for future reference and present it to the cable plant owner to verify the installation has been done correctly.



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Tenant space in Denver’s Alliance Center is designed for solar DC-to-DC power.
Allure of DC Power

The future of energy efficiency may be more than saving energy. It may also be efficient energy capture, storage and delivery. Technologists, engineers and some forward-thinking manufacturers are working to set a bigger table for direct current (DC), and one effort may be all-encompassing.


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Explosive Growth for Distributed-Energy Resources on the Way?

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.



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Change Is Good! Now, You First

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. 



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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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