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

 
Why Isn't Fiber More Popular?

My first thought in writing this column was that the title was wrong.It should be “Why Do People Still Install Copper?” In the fiber optic business, we’ve suffered from the copper industry’s harping that fiber is fragile because it’s made of glass, hard to install and too expensive.


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Intelligent Buildings

A flooded landscape strewn with debris was all that many could see last month as Hurricane Isabel hit the East Coast of the United States, leaving millions without power and blowing down 60-foot pine trees in many neighborhoods, including mine.


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Electrical Power - A Right We All Treasure

North America received an earsplitting “wake-up call” last month when the biggest blackout in U.S. history darkened eight American states and two Canadian provinces, driving millions out in the streets and closing more than 100 power plants across the country.


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The Mysterious dB of Fiber Optics

Whenever tests are performed on fiber optic networks, the results are displayed on a meter readout in dB. Optical loss is measured in dB while optical power is measured in dBm. Loss is a negative number (like -3.2 dB), as are most power measurements. Confused? Many fiber optic techs are too.


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Extreme Installations

Often an electrical contractor will be asked to install a fire alarm system in what some would define as a “harsh” environment. In these cases, the contractor must be ready to satisfy his or her customer’s request for an adequate, code-complying system.


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ECs and eBay

U.S. consumers fall into two camps: Those who have used eBay, and everybody else. Most of the first group—whether regular users or not—are fairly enthusiastic about the experience.


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Retrofit Market Eyes CCTV

If you are an electrical contractor who offers voice/data/video, fire or other low-voltage systems and services, you’ve probably been getting more inquiries from end-users who want to retrofit their aging security systems.


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