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. 

Microgrids are the hot new idea that’s been around forever. Thomas Edison’s first New York City power plants could be considered microgrids because those generating stations each acted independently from the others, serving their own “islands” of connected loads.

There has been discussion about unwanted alarms in the last few years. The fire service says this is “an industry problem,” but is it? What can be done to improve the reliability of fire alarm systems so people stop ignoring alarms when they activate?


Contractors often experience some confusion over the types of circuits required and permitted for fire alarm system installations. First, contractors need to recognize that they must install all circuits as required by chapters 12 and 23 of NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.


These days, it is becoming more common for low-voltage contractors to specialize in a specific type of work (such as security or audiovisual) or a specific customer base (such as hospitals or schools).


More on Systems

 
Honda 4,000W EB4000 portable  generator with commercial IGX engine
Cool Tools: Portable Power

Whether new construction
or repair and maintenance work, integrated systems contractors sometimes require temporary, portable power sources. Today’s portable generators are more compact, more powerful, quieter and easier to use than ever before.


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Skills to Pay the Bills: Breaking Training Boundaries

Demand for skilled electricians is growing. The industry is looking for traditional electrical installation abilities as well as advanced expertise in controls programming, networking and systems integration.


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Distributed Resource Valuation Will Promote Grid Growth

The results of a new survey of 500 energy industry representatives (utility executives, regulators, distributed energy providers, etc.), conducted by GTM Squared, a research arm of Greentech Media, suggest that ongoing regulatory proceedings designed to properly value distributed energy resources (D


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Going Solo: Preparing for single-mode fiber


For almost a year, I’ve been covering the expansion—explosion?—of optical fiber’s applications. Data speed is a factor in almost all of these networks; networks are getting progressively faster.


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Figure 1: Using horse and railcar to explain power factor
A Wealth Of Misinformation: Harmonics and Online-Information Sources


While few would argue about of the wealth of information on the Internet, there isn’t a mechanism for qualifying its accuracy. Basically, anyone can post anything. Even such peer-reviewed sites as Wikipedia can fall short of the facts. A relatively simple concept in power is a good example.


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In With The New: Renovations Present Fire Alarm System Challenges


As we all know, building renovations can take many forms. In each case, the building owner will inevitably need to upgrade or replace the fire alarm system.


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The State Of Video Verification

The art and science of using video to confirm the status of alarms detected at a protected premises continues to improve with affordable technology and an updated standard set for release as early as the end of this month.



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