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. 

Figure 1: Typical magnitude of voltage sag as percent of nominal compiled of EPRI DPQ Project in 1990s

A customer recently called me about the information on his power quality monitor screen. He said about a dozen different events were showing up, but the lights had just blinked once. He wanted to know what all of the other nonsense was supposed to tell him.

Last month, I wrote about how fiber was being used to expand bandwidth for cellular systems, connecting cell towers to the phone network and antennas on the tower to the base electronics. That helps our phone coverage when we’re driving or walking outside.

Workflow-management tools are designed to orchestrate everyday business processes. For example, a contractor may implement a process for submitting, reviewing and approving expense reports.

While the electric power industry rapidly changes, utilities and building owners will need to accurately model the engineering and economic operations of the power system to make informed decisions, so they require sophisticated modeling-software tools.


More on Systems

 
Security for the Masses
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For many people, a trip to the airport is the most potent reminder of terror in our new age of heightened security. We wait in long lines to be X-rayed and metal-detected. We see guards everywhere, often accompanied by dogs.

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Fire Protection for Public Spaces
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Fire protection typically consists of three primary features.

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Getting Physical
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Top-of-the-line detection is everywhere Convention centers, museums, federal buildings, airports, high rises, casinos and a host of other public venues have spent the last few years either updating and improving their physical security or starting from scratch with newly installed systems.

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Wireless LANs: The New Attention-Getter
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‘Hotspots’ provide high return on investment In our connected world, seeing people frantically check their e-mail before boarding a plane has become commonplace. Instantaneous communications are par for the course, which is why public wireless LANs have come into their own.

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Connector Types and Terminology
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Where did these terms come from? Rarely do I present a fiber optic seminar without getting some questions on what some connectors terminology means, and often I’m questioned on how such a term originated.

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Building Bytes
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As your “Online” correspondent, I try to track trends in electronic business, Web sites and more. In February, I journeyed to Orlando for the A/E/C Systems show, the only conference geared to construction computing. Here’s a quick look at what I saw and heard.

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ACknowledge
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Brush up on what the NEC says about air conditioning During the hottest parts of the summer, most people do not notice the sound of air conditioning units turning on and off, but if a unit fails to start, the effect is noticed immediately. Comfort becomes a premium to be restored at all costs.

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