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. 

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.

Reviewing data files from power quality (PQ) monitors to find evidence pointing to the cause of a customer’s problems may sound simple enough for someone who has worked in the industry for more than 35 years.

Many contractors work on building tenant fit-outs or reconfigurations of existing spaces where an existing fire alarm system requires updating. Often, a fire alarm equipment salesperson will lure the contractor into thinking it is OK to reuse the existing system’s wiring and cable.

More on Systems

 
Circuits And Pathways

Beginning with the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, all of the “styles” of circuits were deleted, and four “classes” were added. A new chapter, Circuits and Pathways, was added during the reorganization of this code.


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Notification Know-How: A Look at Notification Requirements

Many designers of the notification portion of a fire alarm or mass notification system (MNS) seem unaware of the specific performance requirements for each type of appliance as required or allowed by NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.


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Keeping It Professional

Based in San Jose, Calif., Integrated Communication Systems (ICS) has been building its success as a low-voltage integrator for 15 years. The 80-employee firm, founded in 2002 by Aaron Colton, president and CEO, serves low-voltage integration needs in San Francisco and the Bay Area.



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Fluke Networks round cable stripper
Cool Tools: Tools For Copper

Correctly preparing and connecting copper wiring in a building’s structured wiring system requires special skills and the right tools. A single faulty connection can bring down an entire network.



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Web Exclusive
New Business Model: Provide Continual Service, Not Just Installation

Electrical contractors used to focus on the initial construction phase of a building. This was the “bread-and-butter” phase where contractors made their money. That business model is not the model for today or tomorrow.


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Web Exclusive
The Newest Video Compression Standard Is Here

Monumental video growth continues in every sector, ranging from small business to mission critical. Surveillance cameras are part of the Internet of Things boom, morphing into smart data collectors like billions of other connected devices.


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Team Develops Streetlight Diagnosing Software, Wins Smart Cities Hackathon

A new piece of software developed by students will make streetlight outage detection a lot easier and faster for the City of Las Vegas.


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