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. 

I often think how lucky we are to work in a profession in which we save lives. It can also make us a good living if we pay attention. Do you pay attention?


The outlook for solar-power project deployment continues to brighten, creating opportunities for electrical contractors. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Washington, D.C., 2014 was a banner year for U.S. photovoltaic (PV) projects.

All of that dark fiber we have been discussing the last few months is getting used for some fast-growing applications, and the fastest may be connecting cell towers. Cell phones have evolved into mobile data devices. Smartphones and tablets consume vast amounts of data.

A hot summer’s evening usually begets long lines at the local ice cream shop. Recently, at one such shop, the line grew extra long when the cash registers and credit card machines mysteriously powered off and on.

More on Systems

 
Calculating Fiber Optic Power Budgets
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After a fiber optic cable plant is installed, it may be used with several different types of fiber optic networks. Computer networks, telephone signals, video links, and even audio can be sent on the installed fibers. Each network type has a performance requirement for the fiber optic cable link.

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Seizing Opportunities to Install Open Systems
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“In 1998, I saw a presentation about integrated systems at a [National Electrical Contractors Association] NECA seminar. This year we’re going to do close to $7 to $8 million on integrated systems, not including the additional sales generated for the electrical side of our company.

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Review Metal-clad Cable Requirements
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There are a number of changes in the 2002 National Electrical Code (NEC) regarding Metal-Clad (Type MC) Cable that should be reviewed before your next electrical project. In the 1999 NEC, Article 334 covered Type MC Cable; however, in the 2002 NEC, Type MC Cable has been relocated into Article 330.

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TIA Adds Structure to BAS Cabling
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TIA TR 41.8.1 is trying to do for building automation cabling what it did for building telecommunications cabling—add structure, standards, and guidelines.

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Software Providers Get into the Game
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All five major providers of electrical estimating software—Accubid, ConEst, McCormick Systems, Trade Power, and Vision Infosoft—are now involved in e-commerce.

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Copper-to-Fiber Conversion Is Simple, Inexpensive
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There are many instances where converting from copper to fiber is necessary or more cost-effective. Sometimes it’s done just to showcase new technology. But whatever the reason, making the conversion has become simple and inexpensive. Converting to fiber is sometimes the only technical solution.

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System Compatibility Tops Clients' Requirement Lists
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System compatibility is not only a growing trend, it also seems to be an unmistakable necessity. This term appears to be evolving from an industry “buzzword” to a way of life for contractors.

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