The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that gets thrown around a lot, and while many understand its general meaning, a deep examination of its various aspects and abilities may leave some heads spinning.
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.
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?
As seen in the 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor, available at profile.ecmag.com, electrical contractors continue to get involved in controls work. This includes a significant increase in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) controls work.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) has contained multiwire branch-circuit color coding since the early 1950s. However, it wasn’t until the 2005 NEC that it required the voltage system to identify ungrounded conductors where a building had more than one voltage system.
The title of this article is not meant to make you smile. Most Electrical Contractor readers work in the contracting business. But, on a daily basis, personnel and clients likely bombard you with requests to take on a new challenge and to do a better job at the work already being performed.
In October, I listed some of the significant changes proposed for the 2019 edition of the NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. This month, I cover more of the important proposed changes. Keep in mind that this is based on the public input stage.
Ferndale Electric Co., Ferndale, Mich., which employs an average of 130 electricians, performs electrical work for automotive plants, power plants, bottling plants and other industrial facilities. It also renovates electrical systems for lift bridges and completes major projects for airports.
Moving to upstart revenue streams and mobile, remote systems management is the way smart, low-voltage electrical contractors are doing something about the changing security and integrated systems market.
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.
In May 2016, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) released Networked Lighting Controls System Specification V1.01. By the end of June, the DLC published a Qualified Products List (QPL) for networked controls. This may have a profound impact on demand for networked controls in existing buildings.
The Internet of Things (IoT) may alter the appearance of data centers. The IoT is a growing system of data that puts demand on existing data centers and pushes for new facilities that are centrally located and “on the edge,” a trendy phrase to describe the point at which sensors are installed.
The green buildings market can offer a significant opportunity for electrical contractors that install fire alarm systems. Are you ready for this? How does your plain old fire alarm system installation help to meet the requirements of a green building?
For many of us, these are technologically challenging times. Just when I think I have mastered the latest smartphone, it changes. Prepare yourself, because, just like mobile devices, the codes and standards are morphing in ways you might not expect.
In my 40-plus years in fire protection, I have learned that electrical contractors (ECs) sell and install the lion’s share of fire alarm systems in medium- to large-size buildings. Most of these contractors also finish the installation, pass the acceptance test and move on to the next project.
There is no question today’s fire alarm systems are more complex than they were 20 years ago. More panels are addressable, which means programmers, installers and inspection and testing personnel need to be better qualified.
Do you know everything you need to about the specialty electrical systems you install? What about the new technology that appears on the horizon? Probably not, since you cannot build a profitable contracting business by being a jack of all trades and master of none.
The future of energy efficiency may be more than saving energy. It may also be efficient energy capture, storage and delivery. Technologists, engineers and some forward-thinking manufacturers are working to set a bigger table for direct current (DC), and one effort may be all-encompassing.