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. 

At a small telecommunications facility, equipment mysteriously started self-destructing for no apparent reason. Laptops, routers, printers and cell phones were apparently just becoming nonfunctional.

After 15 years of rural living on a small farm in Southern California, my wife and I recently moved back into the city. Now, as we walk around our neighborhood, we are often reminded that we live in one of the smartest “smart cities” in the world: Santa Monica, Calif.

As new technology such as Amazon Alexa is linked to smart home devices, lamps are becoming more than simple lights that turn on when you flip a switch.  


In the last year or two, I have written a few articles about NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, and NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing. These were both part of NFPA 3 starting in 2013.

More on Systems

 
Supply in Search of Demand

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.


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New CABA Study Examines the State of the IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that gets thrown around a lot, and while many understand its general meaning, a deep examination of its various aspects and abilities may leave some heads spinning.


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Cabling Mysteries And Myths

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.



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Benefits of Demand-Response Programs

According to a recent report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), demand-response programs can reduce utilities' peak demand an average of 10 percent, complementing savings from energy efficiency programs.


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But Why? Understanding When Things Go Wrong


When I arrived recently at a residential construction site to build a covered porch, the homeowner was busy cutting a tree away from the power lines to the house with a chain saw.


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Design For Living: Fiber Optic Network Design


Last month, I discussed the growing pains I have seen in fiber optics. Some of the problems have been issues with incompetent subcontractors, but poor network design seems to cause just as many issues. Why is that?



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Phasing in Intelligence

As building intelligence becomes a mainstream demand in small to mid-sized buildings and companies, contractors must find ways to offer solutions without crippling startup investments.


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