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. 

Like many technology markets, telecom has always been a hotbed of hype. Somebody is always talking up the latest and greatest technology that will revolutionize the market. Not too long ago, it was fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). Recently, wireless has been getting all the attention.


Another storm on the horizon and another image of electric utility trucks heading off to help with recovery efforts. That seemed to be an almost-nightly occurrence in late August through mid-September, as hurricanes Harvey and Irma made their way to the U.S. mainland.

In Austin, Texas, monk parakeets nest in power transformers on poles high above street level. The nests become so large they can cause fires and power outages.

Residential and commercial security products are becoming easier to integrate. Big box stores and electronics retailers sell security systems that enable users to check on their home or business from anywhere, with advanced features such as night vision, phone alerts and more.


More on Systems

 
Get It Done Right

In this age of e-mails, cell phones and text messages, every contracting project seems to take on an urgency.


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Rising High

The drive toward high performance buildings demands the integration of diverse building systems that were not previously required to interact with one another. For example, occupancy sensors no longer control just lighting in a space. They also control the HVAC system supplying that space.


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Maximize Bandwidth

Wide-area network (WAN) optimizatioN basically means maximizing bandwidth efficiency. It involves compressing data and providing quick access to certain protocols, which helps decrease the amount of communication on the network for common requests.


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Above the Noise

Bells jingling, people talking, glasses clinking, ratchets rattling as people pull levers, the whirl of the roulette wheel and the shouts of encouragement as the dice roll. Noise, noise and more noise.


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Timing Is Everything!

During a recent NFPA fire alarm systems seminar, a gentleman introduced himself and his two technicians. They had traveled quite a distance. Knowing NFPA planned a future seminar in his state, I asked why he did not wait to attend the closer seminar.


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What's in Your Building?

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy defines a high-performance building (HPB) as “a building that is substantially better than standard practice.” There are no exact criteria for defining an HPB.


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Safe Backup Power

Reliability of backup power systems, called uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), hinges on proper installation, regular preventative maintenance and well-being checks. Without them, you may as well start working on your resume.


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