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. 

A local microgrid in Sendai, Japan

One of the byproducts of the surge in renewable power and smart technology has been the expansion of microgrids. According to recent reports, the systems are expanding nationwide.

Aquila in position prior to takeoff. (From left: Kathryn Cook, technical program manager for Aquila; Yael Maguire, head of Connectivity Lab; Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO; Jay Parikh, global head of engineering and infrastructure)

On June 28th, Facebook launched Aquila, a high-altitude, unmanned solar-powered airplane, for its first flight at Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz. Although the team has been running tests and practice flights for months, until this point, only a 1/5th scale airplane had been tested.

Once a technician has spliced a fiber optic cable, he or she must test the splice to verify it is strong and has low loss. The technician must add the test data to the documentation for future reference and present it to the cable plant owner to verify the installation has been done correctly.


Tenant space in Denver’s Alliance Center is designed for solar DC-to-DC power.

The future of energy efficiency may be more than saving energy. It may also be efficient energy capture, storage and delivery. Technologists, engineers and some forward-thinking manufacturers are working to set a bigger table for direct current (DC), and one effort may be all-encompassing.

More on Systems

 
The Ins & Outs of VDV Cable Management

Choosing the right management system for voice/data/video (VDV) cabling is driven by a variety of factors, including local codes and standards, personal taste, cost constraints and performance.


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Fiber Vs. Copper

You have to admire the copper cabling people for their tenacity—they never give up. In spite of hearing for the last 15 years that copper has no future, they persist in developing new technology that allows copper, like the mythical Phoenix, to rise from the ashes as strong and viable as ever.


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Deterring the Mob Mentality

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

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

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

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?

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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