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. 

Microgrids are the hot new idea that’s been around forever. Thomas Edison’s first New York City power plants could be considered microgrids because those generating stations each acted independently from the others, serving their own “islands” of connected loads.

There has been discussion about unwanted alarms in the last few years. The fire service says this is “an industry problem,” but is it? What can be done to improve the reliability of fire alarm systems so people stop ignoring alarms when they activate?


Contractors often experience some confusion over the types of circuits required and permitted for fire alarm system installations. First, contractors need to recognize that they must install all circuits as required by chapters 12 and 23 of NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.


These days, it is becoming more common for low-voltage contractors to specialize in a specific type of work (such as security or audiovisual) or a specific customer base (such as hospitals or schools).


More on Systems

 
Smarty Pants

Access control is a logical product to integrate. Technology continues to advance, especially in networked solutions, smart cards and biometrics, offering new capabilities and more application possibilities than ever before.


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Uninvited Guests

Network vulnerability problems often fall on the shoulders of information technology staff members and systems administrators.


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The Perfect Connection

A few years ago, a cohort and I were demonstrating fiber optic terminations in our booth at the NECA show. He came back from visiting another booth with a large twist-on wire connector, commonly called a “Wire-Nut,” the Ideal trademark for these devices.


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PV Economics

Performing a preliminary design for a photovoltaic (PV) system is the first step in deciding how to effectively incorporate PV technology into a new or existing building.


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On the Horizon

VoWiFi-an abbreviation for voice over wireless fidelity-is another alphabet-soup name to remember. VoWiFi combines Wi-Fi's wireless advantages with voice over Internet protocol (VoIP).


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The Glitches Behind the Service

The debate Between wireless and wired networks continues, but the dialogue is changing. Though wireless has been an overly hyped technology, it is a significant service option to both consumers and businesses.


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Fiber Optics Jargon

Fiber optics, like many of today's technologies, has developed its own language, created from technical terms specific to fiber optic technology. Sometimes the fiber optic community cannot-or will not-standardize, and we mean beyond choosing a standard connector.


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