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. 

As the U.S. energy industry has evolved, major flaws in the transmission infrastructure have been exposed. Upgrades are the new norm. Recently, one utility in New Mexico launched a major project to upgrade its transmission lines.

The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) releases reports based on customer surveys about involvement in the smart grid.

Along with solar power, wind turbines, electric vehicles and other alternative-energy technologies, microgrids are now playing a bigger role in the nation’s energy infrastructure. Recently, the state of New Jersey announced its own microgrid project.

Last Fall, a contractor working for Google Fiber in Nashville, Tenn., made headlines for breaking a 36-inch water main while doing directional boring. That was the second time that contractor had broken a water main in a week.

More on Systems

 
The 93XC OTDR is part of the Greenlee Communications family of fiber equipment.
Cool Tools: Fiber Testers

With the increasing use of fiber optic cable in structured wiring, many electricians experienced in low-voltage copper work are extending their skills to include fiber. Working with fiber requires training and the right tools and testers to correctly install and maintain fiber optic cable.



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Competitive Advantages Are Key

Since its humble beginnings in 1981, Metropolitan Electrical Construction in San Francisco has grown to a staff of almost 300 (250 field staff and 40 office employees) by ensuring that it can offer a number of competitive advantages to the marketplace.



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Photo credit: Leroy Koetz
Wrigley Field Project Showcases Wireless Lighting Control


Only time will tell if 2016 will be the year that the Chicago Cubs' 104-year title drought ends. For now, fans are reveling in new improvements to the stadium and the surrounding area.
 The improvements began several years ago and are expected to continue into 2018 or 2019.



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More Secrets To Share: Achieving (Splice) Closure


For several recent columns, I have been writing about splicing optical fibers. Last month, I covered managing fibers inside the splice trays and closures. But there is even more to know about splice closures.



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Well Wired: Growing Demand for Wiring and Cabling Installation

Demand for wiring and cabling is expected to grow in the months and years ahead. Low-voltage applications for light-emitting diode (LED) technology and fiber optic cabling within the power-generation and telecommunications industries will help drive this market.


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'Good Enough': Finding the Right PQ Monitor

At a recent meeting, a comment was made that many power quality (PQ) monitor users purchase equipment that is just “good enough.” PQ monitors can be a significant capital equipment purchase for some companies, particularly smaller electrical contracting firms.


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Special Splicing Secrets

As I have described in the previous few columns, splicing fibers is fairly easy. If the installer cleans and cleaves the fibers properly, the machine does the rest. However, the installer’s job is not over at that point.



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