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. 

As renewable power increases its market share, energy storage assumes a larger role. Recognizing the importance of government benchmarks, California lawmakers have taken steps to raise the state’s energy-storage standard.

J.M. Electrical Co., a Lynnfield, Mass., contractor with a specialty in advanced automation building system installations, recently completed project operations at the 85,000-square-foot Hanscom Air Force Base Middle School in Bedford, Mass., which holds 312 students.

This summer, New York-based Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) spent $1.6 billion to upgrade its delivery system, including 12 network transformers, 70 overhead transformers, 16 underground feeder sections, 37 overhead sections of power lines and reinforcement of 25 electric feeders.

Last month, I wrote about measurement uncertainty and metrology, the science of measurements. This month, I get more specific and cover the uncertainty of some basic fiber optic measurements, starting with optical power.

More on Systems

A Bright Future? BPL Today

According to what I hear, broadband over power lines (BPL) is either a winning or losing technology. It started as a winner because it was positioned as a cheaper alternative to provide high-speed, broadband Internet access to homes and businesses by using the existing power grid infrastructure.

Is the Customer Always Right?

Most customers for fiber optic installation expect the installer to be more knowledgeable about and experienced with fiber optics than they are.

Great Heights

Project managers at Baker Electric knew in 2001 that powering Des Moines’ new world-class sports and entertainment campus would be a major event.

Fiber Optimism

Those involved in fiber optics are incurable optimists. Market forecasts always show upward trends and promise that fiber is going to replace copper wire or rebuff wireless and whatever other alternative methods of communications are currently being hyped.

Instant and Temporary Networks

On-demand networks are not new. Plug-and-play functionality has been a component of networking solutions for quite some time, because network access is a constant and ever-changing issue affecting most operations.

'I Always Do Class A Work!'

“I always do class A work!” That was the answer I got when I asked the fire alarm system contractor whether or not he had wired the system in a Class A fashion.

A Protective Barrier

Optical fiber, like copper wire for communications, needs to be kept dry to maintain its performance. On wire, moisture causes high impedance and crosstalk. In fiber, it adds to the attenuation and may make fibers brittle and more susceptible to damage.