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. 

Energy consumer demand for distributed-energy resources (DER) is growing for a number of reasons—unexpected utility power outages, planned rolling blackouts, power quality problems, increases in power costs, etc.


The 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor reveals how electrical contractors see the industry changing and how they intend to adapt. Change occurs in the fire alarm and communications world as well. As you know, keeping up with these changes can prove difficult. 


Evolution in action


Much has been said and written about analog video cameras and the move to internet protocol (IP) networked digital surveillance. Some predicted the demise of analog and takeover by IP devices would progress quickly, but clearly that hasn’t happened.

A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes.

More on Systems

 
A New Frontier Of Sales

Are electrical contractors getting what they need online from their distributors? The answer, as it happens so often, depends on whom you ask.



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Figure 1: Phase current and demand plots for July 22–Aug. 3
25 Cents A Blink

The electrical energy usage in most industrial and commercial facilities follows a reasonably consistent pattern from week to week, so a one-week monitoring program usually is adequate to determine what can be done to save 10–20 percent on electric bills.


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Normal Wear And Tear

In the course of daily business, you often receive a request to update or replace electrical systems in a building. Have you ever proactively asked customers to allow you to review and audit their fire alarm systems?



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The More Data The Merrier: Smart and Submeters

Utility companies have driven smart-meter installation in homes. Now, touting the amount of useful data smart meters can provide, utilities and building owners are setting their sights on commercial and industrial buildings through submetering.


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ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi


With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which signaling technology is best for the residential or commercial security customer.


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The Rest Of The Story: NFPA 72 Changes

In my last article, I wrote about the significant changes to the 2016 NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. One change that I did not bring up is to the NFPA process. In 2016, the “change lines” in the columns next to revised or new text will no longer be there.


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Emerging Applications, New Opportunities: Four formative ways commercial security is changing

It has been another monumental and transitional year for physical security systems. For low-voltage contractors specifying security, the breadth of products has changed, and solutions-deployment methods have evolved even more.


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