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. 

A local microgrid in Sendai, Japan

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.

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)

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.

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.


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

More on Systems

 
In the Zone

It is not a new cabling and wiring installation technique, but it has certainly come of age. Zone cabling is a little like the old multiplexed circuits of the early high-end burglar alarm systems (think New York jewelry stores) with a much more modern twist.


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Producing Effective Terminations

Some years back, fiber optic connector manufacturers started offering connectors that terminated fiber quickly without using adhesives or requiring polishing. The manufacturer glued a short stub fiber into the connector ferrule and polished it perfectly in the factory.


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To Host or Not to Host

It is a well-known fact that with popularity comes both praise and criticism—voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) is no exception. Whether or not to host VoIP is a question contractors need to start asking, because the decision may help close a deal or directly affect an installation.


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The ITS-Trained Worker

How important are information transport systems skills for the data-communications contractor? Being a professional data-communications (or low-voltage) contractor includes many components.


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Wind Power - Friends and Foes

Up to 2,500 megawatts (mw) of wind energy capacity are scheduled to come online in the United States this year, bringing new power to the equivalent of 700,000 homes and injecting more than $3 billion of investment into the power generation sector. Wind power has truly become a reality.


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On the Bandwidth Wagon

It is common knowledge that fiber optics has much more information-carrying capacity than copper wiring, mostly due to the fact that fiber optic suppliers have been touting the bandwidth advantages of fiber for so long.


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VoIP Basics

For traditional burglar alarm installers dealing with intrusion detection and monitored systems, it came as no shock that voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) was not the end-all and cure-all it was originally purported to be. But that’s the reality of emergency communications in some instances.


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