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. 

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.

A June 2016 report, "Market Data: IoT for Residential Energy Customers," published by Navigant Research, examines the global market for devices and services that are considered to be part of the residential "Internet of Things" (IoT), including forecasts for shipments, installed base, average sellin

United States’ military strategists have talked about the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike since the Cold War in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

More on Systems

 
Layer Security with Sensors and Detectors

Critical surveillance calls for a variety of detectors and sensors, and there are some heavy hitters to get the job done.


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The Many Faces of Fire Protection

There are many types of financial institutions and numerous possible ways to protect these facilities against the threat of fire. There are banks and credit unions, as well as data centers that process the transactions and credit card purchases with large computer room facilities.


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Biometrics for the Common Man

Biometrics has gone beyond the realm of space-age applications. Now, and in the future, biometrics is a perfect fit with nearly every user in every market.


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Plastic Optical Fiber

Every year around Christmas, stores roll out artificial trees made with optical fibers. You know the ones—they glow and shine colored light out the ends of the branches. Who would think that these trees are made of a type of optical fiber that offers easy-to-install cheap communications links?


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Have a Backup Plan

In the past, blackouts have led us to focus on preventing systemwide single component failures. But August’s blackout increased nationwide awareness for the need for backup power systems.


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Money in the Bank

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

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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