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. 

In today’s 21st-century global economy, in both corporate and government enterprises, mission-critical applications must have a higher caliber of resiliency and reliability.

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.

More on Systems

 
Figure 1: Phase current and demand plots for July 22–Aug. 3
25 Cents A Blink

The electrical energy usage in most industrial and commercial facilities follows a reasonably consistent pattern from week to week, so a one-week monitoring program usually is adequate to determine what can be done to save 10–20 percent on electric bills.


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Normal Wear And Tear

In the course of daily business, you often receive a request to update or replace electrical systems in a building. Have you ever proactively asked customers to allow you to review and audit their fire alarm systems?



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The More Data The Merrier: Smart and Submeters

Utility companies have driven smart-meter installation in homes. Now, touting the amount of useful data smart meters can provide, utilities and building owners are setting their sights on commercial and industrial buildings through submetering.


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ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi


With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which signaling technology is best for the residential or commercial security customer.


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The Rest Of The Story: NFPA 72 Changes

In my last article, I wrote about the significant changes to the 2016 NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. One change that I did not bring up is to the NFPA process. In 2016, the “change lines” in the columns next to revised or new text will no longer be there.


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Common Ground To Break Ground

The dark fiber providers that most people are familiar with are private companies that were started to offer fiber connectivity for a profit. Today, there is a major movement toward building fiber networks as a public-private partnership.


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Phasor diagram and equivalent sinewave plots
Not So Infrequent

When considering power quality disturbances or the quality of the electrical supply, phenomena such as rms variations (sags, swells and interruptions), harmonics, unbalance and flicker usually come to mind.


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