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. 

It is a sign of tight budgets when facility directors at most K–12 and higher education institutions receive mandates to defer maintenance on their existing building inventory to allow for budget dollar application elsewhere.

“Dark fiber” is a term often heard in conversations about fiber optic communications. Perhaps this is because it has a name that sounds evil or nefarious. But dark fiber is just fiber that has been installed and is not currently in use; instead, it is reserved for spares or future use.


If you’re going to do a job right, you need the right tools. Today, the definition of tool goes beyond wire crimpers and multimeters. It now includes smartphones and the apps that make them crucial to a contractor’s success. The following are some of the apps that contractors could consider using.


Last month, we looked into positive, negative and zero-sequence components, also known as symmetrical components, with virtually no math involved.

Electrical Contractor

More on Systems

 
Optical Awareness
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Optical local area networks (OLANs) have been the subject of these columns for several months, and before that I discussed networks. This month’s column ties together some loose ends to help you understand the OLAN concept better.

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Powering trends

Power For A Rainy Day
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Backup power is typically required for emergency and egress lighting. Emergency power could also be used during evacuation to power systems that help keep building occupants and rescue personnel safe.

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Trends and their drivers

Stay In The Light
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Effective lighting is an important part of any security strategy. Even if lighting can’t guarantee safety or prevent disasters, it is a valuable tool that can increase safety in indoor and outdoor applications when used wisely. 


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Same Rules Apply
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Once a year, I focus on the latest trends and changes in power-quality monitors, standards and mitigation equipment. This article initially focused on the latter, but after researching several dozen of the newer products on the market, one thing became apparent.

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Just Say 'O'
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Optical local area networks (OLAN) will cause you to rethink practically everything you have learned about LANs and LAN cabling. Of course, any major change in technology like this causes FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), just like voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) and Wi-Fi have already. 


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So Much To See, So Little Time
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Sometimes, a power quality investigation can lead you to see things that you aren’t really looking for and might be a distraction from what the customer wants you to do.

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Going Up (in Smoke)
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Electrical professionals understand that the purpose of a smoke detection and alarm system is generally to provide life safety for building occupants. They also understand that the goal of the fire alarm system is to provide occupants with as much escape time as possible.

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