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. 

I often think how lucky we are to work in a profession in which we save lives. It can also make us a good living if we pay attention. Do you pay attention?


The outlook for solar-power project deployment continues to brighten, creating opportunities for electrical contractors. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Washington, D.C., 2014 was a banner year for U.S. photovoltaic (PV) projects.

All of that dark fiber we have been discussing the last few months is getting used for some fast-growing applications, and the fastest may be connecting cell towers. Cell phones have evolved into mobile data devices. Smartphones and tablets consume vast amounts of data.

A hot summer’s evening usually begets long lines at the local ice cream shop. Recently, at one such shop, the line grew extra long when the cash registers and credit card machines mysteriously powered off and on.

More on Systems

 
Connect And Power Up
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Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a way to safely transmit electrical power and data over standard structured cabling to remote devices where there may not be a power outlet or where it is too expensive to install a new outlet or bring in additional electrical service.


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Automation for the People
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While the home-automation market is still in a bit of a Wild West state, the combined factors of industry consolidation and consumers’ growing interest in interoperability are forcing some order into the chaos of available products.

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Blink And You'll Miss It
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The blinks and flickers referred to here can best be described as “voltage fluctuations on electric power systems [that] sometimes give rise to noticeable illumination changes from lighting equipment.” The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard that covers this is about to

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LED lighting can be powered and controlled through a PoE system in a data center application.
The Power of PoE
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Power over Ethernet (PoE) is any of several standardized or ad-hoc systems that pass electrical power along with data on Ethernet cabling.

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Communication Breakdown
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The 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, established a new and separate chapter for emergency communication systems (ECS), which continues to evolve.

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Step One: Commissioning
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In its basic form, commissioning means testing every device, process and procedure in an integrated systems solution to ensure the final specification operates as planned and according to the owner’s design. 


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A Key Component of Reliability
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I have often described the reliability of a fire alarm system installation as dependent on four elements: design, equipment, installation and maintenance. I have also explained that the last two elements contribute the most to a fire alarm system’s operational reliability.


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