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. 

Design/build means different things to different people. Regardless, you should know that it places more responsibility on your shoulders as the electrical professional. It means you need to stay abreast of the codes that affect your installations.


Figure 1: Typical magnitude of voltage sag as percent of nominal compiled of EPRI DPQ Project in 1990s

A customer recently called me about the information on his power quality monitor screen. He said about a dozen different events were showing up, but the lights had just blinked once. He wanted to know what all of the other nonsense was supposed to tell him.

Last month, I wrote about how fiber was being used to expand bandwidth for cellular systems, connecting cell towers to the phone network and antennas on the tower to the base electronics. That helps our phone coverage when we’re driving or walking outside.

Workflow-management tools are designed to orchestrate everyday business processes. For example, a contractor may implement a process for submitting, reviewing and approving expense reports.

More on Systems

 
Deterring the Mob Mentality
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The State College (Pennsylvania) Borough Council was looking for answers. During the summers of 1998 and 2000, students from Penn State took part in large-scale riots.

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Security Forecast
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Perhaps Homeland Security Defense initiatives haven’t been the windfall the security industry expected, but this market and other related low-voltage segments continue to grow. After Sept. 11, the phones wouldn’t stop ringing for many manufacturers.

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Don't Gamble with Abandoned Cable
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There’s a problem that is either right in front of us or lurking around the corner. The problem involves data communications cabling above drop ceilings in commercial buildings—some of that old cable has been accumulating in ceiling spaces for years and years.

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The Dark Side of Fiber
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Generally, the dark side refers to Darth Vader and other not-so-good things. Leave it to the communications industry to turn something dark into something powerfully marketable and profitable—dark fiber.

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Where are the Fiber Optic Jobs?
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Since the fiber optic “bubble” burst a couple of years ago, employment ads for fiber optic installers have been scarce. But are real jobs still available? If so, where are they? Is the outside plant market dead? What about premises applications? What technologies are driving new installations?

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Testing for Category 6 Cabling
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As you may know, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has agreed that Level III-qualified testers are to be used when certifying or verifying Category 6 cabling systems (Category 6 cable is a 100-Ohm cable with transmission characteristics specified up to 250 MHz).

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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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