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. 

Energy consumer demand for distributed-energy resources (DER) is growing for a number of reasons—unexpected utility power outages, planned rolling blackouts, power quality problems, increases in power costs, etc.


The 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor reveals how electrical contractors see the industry changing and how they intend to adapt. Change occurs in the fire alarm and communications world as well. As you know, keeping up with these changes can prove difficult. 


Evolution in action


Much has been said and written about analog video cameras and the move to internet protocol (IP) networked digital surveillance. Some predicted the demise of analog and takeover by IP devices would progress quickly, but clearly that hasn’t happened.

A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes.

More on Systems

 
A Misleading Circuit

Can a 20A receptacle be placed on a 15A circuit?


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Security for the Masses

For many people, a trip to the airport is the most potent reminder of terror in our new age of heightened security. We wait in long lines to be X-rayed and metal-detected. We see guards everywhere, often accompanied by dogs.


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Fire Protection for Public Spaces
by Staff |

Fire protection typically consists of three primary features.


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Getting Physical
by Staff |

Top-of-the-line detection is everywhere Convention centers, museums, federal buildings, airports, high rises, casinos and a host of other public venues have spent the last few years either updating and improving their physical security or starting from scratch with newly installed systems.


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Wireless LANs: The New Attention-Getter

‘Hotspots’ provide high return on investment In our connected world, seeing people frantically check their e-mail before boarding a plane has become commonplace. Instantaneous communications are par for the course, which is why public wireless LANs have come into their own.


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Take Care in Installation

There’s strength in members Many electricians have their first encounters with fiber optic cabling when asked to install the cable for others who terminate and test it.


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STP vs. UTP

Money usually decides this debate One of the great debates that affects contractors—especially those dealing with communications systems—may be the question of shielded twisted pair (STP) or unshielded twisted pair (UTP).


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