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. 

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.

While the electric power industry rapidly changes, utilities and building owners will need to accurately model the engineering and economic operations of the power system to make informed decisions, so they require sophisticated modeling-software tools.


More on Systems

 
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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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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Bank Robbers Beware
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Each September, Northfield, Minn., celebrates the foiling of the legendary James-Younger gang’s 1876 raid on the First National Bank.

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Financial Security Focuses on CCTV
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Remember the V-8 advertisement where the guy slapped his head when he realized he had missed his chance to have his favorite drink? Having a “V-8 Moment” about security systems as the crooks escape a bank robbery is bad news all around.

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High-Tech Trumps Hijinks
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As long as there have been banks, there have been bank robbers. But in the past decade, keeping up with criminal threats to the banking industry is becoming more high tech as security demands change.

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Behind the Scenes
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There’s a well-known joke about money. You might see it as a sign posted in a bar or restaurant: “In God We Trust. Everybody else pays cash.” The first part of that phrase, as we all know, is printed on every U.S. greenback and stamped on every nickel, dime, quarter and penny.

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