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. 

Brady BMP21-Plus label printer

Making labels on the job site can be a time-consuming task for integrated systems contractors, but it can pay big dividends in the long run.


In the last issue, I wrote about the practice of splicing two fibers with a fusion-­splicing machine. This month, I discuss some secrets that experienced splicers have learned—often the hard way.


Figure 1: Notching caused by semiconductor-controlled rectifier switching during commutation period

Maybe it is because they are rarely seen by the human eye or because the proliferation of surge protector strips makes everyone feel immune, but transients still exist and can wreak havoc with electrical equipment.

With cities and utilities worldwide upgrading to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting for streets and outdoor areas, owners and installers wonder when they 
will build in the controls for smart-city applications.

More on Systems

 
Pay Attention

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?



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The Rising Sun

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.


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Wiring Wireless

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.


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Screaming For Ice Cream

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.


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At The Center Of Data Centers

Last month, we discussed how long-distance dark fiber is used to connect data centers. Everywhere you look, you read about new data centers being built by Google or Facebook or Amazon or some other one with a strange, unpronounceable name.


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Connect And Power Up

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

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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