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

 
The Next Big Opportunity: IP Audio Brings Installation and User Benefits


Integrated systems solutions aren’t reserved solely for surveillance, intrusion detection and fire-signaling technology. Audio is the bright star on the horizon, especially as it begins to be leveraged more fully on the network.


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Columbus Microgrid Project Pushes To Make City Smarter


In November, as part of a larger plan to decarbonize the power supply and transportation in Columbus, Ohio, American Electric Power (AEP) announced plans to invest $52 million to build between eight and 10 microgrids in and around the city.


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The Right Sales Pitch: Dealing With Fiber Optics Growing Pains

The fiber optic industry is going through growing pains. As nationwide connectivity projects such as Google Fiber have accelerated the deployment of connected cities, the realities of running cable throughout America’s communities is proving a challenge.


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All Eyes On Video: A Look at Drones, Analytics and Surveillance 


The new year is upon us. For electrical contractors that continue to add low-voltage security to their operations, there is a light shining brightly on what can really boost the overall future stability and profitability of a company, and that’s the category of video surveillance.



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Predicting Change: Staying Aware of New (Even Unenforced) Codes


Regardless of the changes in our federal government this year, there is one thing we know for sure: we have a new NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code from the National Fire Protection Association. Does that mean we should have started using the new code on Jan. 1?


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Brighter Or Darker Future: The Health Effects of New Lighting Sources


The proliferation of alternative forms of lighting—for example, LED lamps—has been accelerated by the significantly limited sale of incandescent light lamps. In case you forgot, incandescents failed to meet the efficiency rules of the Energy Independence and Securities Act of 2007.


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Growing Pains: 2016 Fiber Optics in Review


The application of fiber optics has been growing rapidly.


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