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. 

There is an old saying that liars figure and figures lie, which implies that the truth can be a challenge to discern from both people and data. At a recent standards-making conference, I encountered some examples of this concept that seemed worth sharing.

For electrical contractors with a low-voltage or security division—or for any company involved in physical security and surveillance—keeping pace with new technology is one of the greatest challenges.

When I entered the business, I “sold” fire alarm systems. Codes at the time had begun to require that such systems be installed in some occupancies.

In its paper, “Intelligent Efficiency: Innovations Reshaping the Energy Efficiency Market,” Greentech Media notes that efficiency is an untapped energy resource that is already embedded in every commercial building, manufacturing facility and corporate campus.

More on Systems

Smart Storage

While battery innovators have continued to tweak their products’ chemistries in search of the perfect, safe and affordable companion to rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels, a number of energy-storage entrepreneurs have made an end-run around this technology conundrum.

Factory-Made In The Field

Last month, I addressed how to determine if an adhesive/polish connector was good by inspecting the polished end of the connector with a microscope.

Bad Installations

Since fiber optics is growing in market share for all kinds of applications, 
I am hearing more stories about problems with installations. At The Fiber Optic Association, I handle most of the technical inquiries, so I tend to see the trends develop.

Wise Moves: Demand Response

Once known as demand-side management, the implementation of products and practices designed to modify electricity consumption are proven methods for electricity providers and consumers to control usage.

But We've Always Done It That Way!

Technology is changing so fast these days that we could almost call this a “technology invasion.” Sometimes, it seems the technology and systems needed to accomplish the work changes in the time between one project ending and another project going out to bid.


From Start To Finish

As with any project, a communications cabling project requires comprehensive management. Project management for cabling or related networks is best understood when broken into five subtopics:
 Planning, Design, Installation, Testing and Operation.

What's New In Standards Land?
by Staff |

After what seemed like an eternity for those of us working on the various power quality working groups and task forces of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society, a number of standards have been completed.