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. 

The years leading up to 2016 were transitional for the security industry. As products and services continue to move to the cloud, the industry has been hard at work learning the morphing landscape and how to best approach the new wave of opportunity emerging from every front.

In the past year, fiber optics underwent some important developments, some technical and some market-related. For those of you working in fiber optic network design and installation, the changes present opportunities and challenges.

This article is the first in a series that provides a step-by-step approach for performing arc flash calculations.
 Arc flash studies and software

I often give my power quality (PQ) 101 course to new engineers or salespeople. This introduction starts with the basics: an overview of PQ phenomena based on IEEE 1159 Table 4.2 followed by Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s laws and how they apply to power quality.

More on Systems

24/7 Connectivity Required

Power is everything. Consumers demand connectivity to home, business, people and places 24 hours a day. In this uber-integrated information society, staying in touch through Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cellular and other networks is the expectation.

New Code, Old Tricks

Design/build means different things to different people. Regardless, you should know that it places more responsibility on your shoulders as the electrical professional. It means you need to stay abreast of the codes that affect your installations.

Figure 1: Typical magnitude of voltage sag as percent of nominal compiled of EPRI DPQ Project in 1990s
Conquering The Dip

A customer recently called me about the information on his power quality monitor screen. He said about a dozen different events were showing up, but the lights had just blinked once. He wanted to know what all of the other nonsense was supposed to tell him.

Finding A Signal

Last month, I wrote about how fiber was being used to expand bandwidth for cellular systems, connecting cell towers to the phone network and antennas on the tower to the base electronics. That helps our phone coverage when we’re driving or walking outside.

Go With The Flow

Workflow-management tools are designed to orchestrate everyday business processes. For example, a contractor may implement a process for submitting, reviewing and approving expense reports.

A Model System: Energy Modeling

While the electric power industry rapidly changes, utilities and building owners will need to accurately model the engineering and economic operations of the power system to make informed decisions, so they require sophisticated modeling-software tools.

Manage The Data Overload

Building automation systems (BASs) offer new opportunities for system maintenance, data management and cyber security.