Your Business



Articles in this section are intended to help electrical contractors grow and improve their businesses, from financial and legal advice to creating a service and maintenance department. You’ll find articles on estimating projects and more below. 

Fluke 1730 three-phase energy logger

Productivity loss, equipment damage, facility downtime and increased energy use are only some of the problems that poor power quality (PQ) can create.

The solar power industry, like much commerce today, thrives on innovation and the drive to do more with less. Recently, one industry leader set a new standard when it announced a solar-panel technology with unprecedented levels of efficiency.

While employment in the construction sector has generally enjoyed steady growth over the last 20 months, one element has remained stubbornly weak: the number of skilled workers. The problem is not new, and it persists.

The high price of renewables relative to traditional fuel sources is their biggest drawback. Although the alternative-energy industry has made great strides in bringing down upfront costs, the perception remains that it is a long way from parity with fossil fuels.

More on Your Business

Klein Tools Moves Corporate Headquarters

Klein Tools, a manufacturer of professional hand tools and occupational equipment, has moved its corporate headquarters from Skokie, Ill., to a new 64,000-square-foot facility located on a seven-acre site in Lincolnshire, Ill., a northwestern suburb of Chicago.

For Nate

Electrical estimating is a tough, involved subject to teach and a very hard subject to learn. This is not a class they teach in high school or in most colleges, if any. Heck, I don’t recall the word “estimating” ever being said at career day.

Three Kinds of 'Blink'

Many of the 5th generation power quality monitors can continuously calculate several thousand parameters (more than most users know what to do with or really need). Another parameter has been added—rapid-voltage change—that also can describe what happens when the lights blink.

Signing Your Time Away

Two recent cases highlight the harm caused by “no damages for delay” clauses. Both are well-reasoned decisions from Maryland that survey the law from many states. As such, they are worth knowing, particularly because the uncompensated delays were outrageous.

PV Inverter Technology

At the heart of any photovoltaic (PV) system is the inverter, also referred to as the power conversion unit (PCU) or power conversion system (PCS).

Estimators Wanted: Alive, Not Dead

Estimators come in all shapes and sizes. Most I have met are not very athletic, except for a few golf games between bids. I’m sure there are many who are very athletic, but let’s face it—on any given day, our most strenuous moment is lifting a 40-pound set of drawings onto our workstation.

Power Quality Safety

As I prepare to chair the next meeting of the NFPA 70B Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance committee, I reviewed some of the more significant changes made in the 2006 edition.