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 renewable power increases its market share, energy storage assumes a larger role. Recognizing the importance of government benchmarks, California lawmakers have taken steps to raise the state’s energy-storage standard.

J.M. Electrical Co., a Lynnfield, Mass., contractor with a specialty in advanced automation building system installations, recently completed project operations at the 85,000-square-foot Hanscom Air Force Base Middle School in Bedford, Mass., which holds 312 students.

This summer, New York-based Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) spent $1.6 billion to upgrade its delivery system, including 12 network transformers, 70 overhead transformers, 16 underground feeder sections, 37 overhead sections of power lines and reinforcement of 25 electric feeders.

Last month, I wrote about measurement uncertainty and metrology, the science of measurements. This month, I get more specific and cover the uncertainty of some basic fiber optic measurements, starting with optical power.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

Power to the People: HVDC Brings Renewable Energy Into the Mainstream

In the early days of electrical generation and transmission, much hullabaloo was made over the respective value of alternating current (AC) versus direct current (DC) technology, and the reigning geniuses of the 1880s, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, waged a metaphorical war over the issue.