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. 

Don’t blink! If you do, you may miss some of the rapidly developing changes occurring in the technology sector.


I’m sure all of you have run into an issue such as this when installing a fire alarm system: One authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) wants one thing, and another AHJ wants exactly the opposite. What do you do? You can’t make both happy.

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.

Building-system-automation implementation has paved the way for sensor technology to make buildings more efficient, healthier and more comfortable for occupants.

More on Systems

 
The Little Engine that Could
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Ask most electrical contractors about the latest cogenerating technology—microturbines—and you’re likely to get silence, or possibly: “micro-what?” This technology, which has only been on the market a few years (Capstone Turbine’s C30 model was introduced in December 1998), may still be relatively u

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The Many Faces of Fire Protection
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There are many types of financial institutions and numerous possible ways to protect these facilities against the threat of fire. There are banks and credit unions, as well as data centers that process the transactions and credit card purchases with large computer room facilities.

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Biometrics for the Common Man
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Biometrics has gone beyond the realm of space-age applications. Now, and in the future, biometrics is a perfect fit with nearly every user in every market.

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Plastic Optical Fiber
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Every year around Christmas, stores roll out artificial trees made with optical fibers. You know the ones—they glow and shine colored light out the ends of the branches. Who would think that these trees are made of a type of optical fiber that offers easy-to-install cheap communications links?

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Have a Backup Plan
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In the past, blackouts have led us to focus on preventing systemwide single component failures. But August’s blackout increased nationwide awareness for the need for backup power systems.

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Money in the Bank
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Bank security systems are now so sophisticated that it is virtually impossible to use a hankie without being in full view of a surveillance camera. Uniformed guards making their presence obvious are as much an ornament as a deterrent to crime.

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Redundancy Bears Repeating
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System redundancy—for electrical, security, fire, alarm or communications systems—is one of those areas that cause many people to go blank.

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