Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Apr 22, 2019

IoTElectrical contractors are approaching a tipping point in terms of pursuing roles and opportunities in the growing market of smart buildings, says a new report from Electri International. But alongside these opportunities are some non-traditional business challenges.

The report, Smart Buildings And Internet of Things (IoT) Impact on Electrical Contracting, defines smart buildings as having “integrated and optimized systems, services, and facility management that dynamically create a productive, cost-effective, and healthy environment for the occupants.”

The report notes that, through experience with low-voltage and building automation systems, electrical contractors (ECs) have developed skills that have enabled them to become trusted installers for such low voltage equipment as


    • video surveillance, data communications, and access control
    • control systems for HVAC and life safety systems
    • renewable energy systems

Some ECs already have in-house certified network designers and engineers to provide design-assist to owners during the project development and engineering phases. However, says the report, ECs need to be more open to the possibility of playing the master systems integrator to grow further in the smart building market. There are already a few cases of electrical contractors who have transformed themselves into master system integrators primarily to oversee the design and engineering of the different control systems.


These skills will be useful to expand into the smart building market. Nevertheless, challenges remain. These include:

    • building owners’ struggle to specify their smart building requirements
    • the absence of financial incentives beyond energy upgrades
    • cultural and priority disconnects between informational and operational technology groups
    • increasing cyber security that comes with connecting building automation systems to the IT network
    • blurred liability lines between hardware and software installations
    • a critical requirement for continuous testing of smart building systems
    • providing reliable and efficient power supply to the large IoT devices
    • increased cellular data mobility requirements within the buildings


A bit of background

The report was prepared by Hisham Said, Associate Professor of Construction Engineering and Management in the Department of Civil Engineering at Santa Clara University in California. In conducting his research for this report, Said used an extensive data collection process, including interviews, an online questionnaire, case studies, and technology taxonomy modelling. This data and analysis served as the basis for developing a comprehensive IoT roadmap for electrical contractors.

This strategic roadmap is intended to provide electrical contractors, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and IBEW with short- and long-term strategies to prepare well for the future IoT-based smart building market. The roadmap connects industry challenges and technological opportunities to 23 strategies over three main paths: technology development, business transformation, and workforce development.

What’s contributed to the growth of IoT

According to the report, IoT was made possible by the convergence of four main technological advancements:


    • the increasing processing power of embedded platforms that replaced the microcontrollers and allowed running algorithms on the devices and sensors
    • the development of reliable and light operating systems for the embedded platforms, supported by large ecosystems of developers and applications
    • the development of standard wireless communication protocols with low-power requirements, like ZigBee and Z-wave
    • the growth of viable commercial cloud computing platforms that provide data warehousing, artificial intelligence tools, and security measures.


As the technology continues to advance, these smart facilities will become even more complex and challenging projects for ECs to construct. At the same time, they offer ECs more opportunity to deliver new, value-added, higher margin services to customers and develop closer relationships with their customers than in a typical “install and go” scenario. These additional services are in higher demand, owing to cost saving, energy efficiency and monitoring/maintenance demands.

Find out more about these value-added, higher margin services in an upcoming issue of EIN. In the interim, Electri International’s 104-page report can be downloaded here.

Photo source: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

 Cablofil® Wire Mesh Cable Tray - The Conduit Alternative 

Legrand CablofilAs the safest, easiest-to-install alternative to labor-intensive conduit, wire mesh cable management tray has been the most widely adopted wiring support method for 40 years. Electrical contractors continue to rely on tried-and-tested, code-compliant cable tray for all of their installations, including those in some of the world’s harshest environments.

5 ways Cablofil beats conduit: 1. Fewer parts 2. All you need is a bolt cutter 3. Adopts to any installation 4. One person can usually install a whole system 5. Sweeps and bends can be formed on site. 

 

 

Watch the video HERE..

 

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“By joining the Drive to Zero pledge, Québec is committing to share its transportation electrification knowledge and expertise and coordinate its efforts with those of all partners to make zero-emission technology commercially viable by 2025 in the heavy vehicle sector...

 

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Signify“Another year of record heat waves, fires in the Amazon and Siberia, and the ice caps at their smallest for centuries. The time for debate is over – now it’s time to take urgent action,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Signify, who spoke during the opening ceremony of Climate Week New York City.

According to Rondolat, governments worldwide need to help realize a carbon neutral world by 2050 at the latest with companies committing to a more aggressive target of 2030. When it comes to what he described as the “low-hanging fruit of energy saving actions,” Rondolat calls for the following commitments:

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Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

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Flir Application SpotlightWithout power, factory operations cannot continue. That’s why regular scheduled maintenance is important to ensure your electrical distribution system is in working order. A combination of a thermal imager and a clamp meter can help you detect hot spots and diagnose electrical issues at the point of failure before an outage occurs, quickly and safely.  Download the Application Spotlight today.

 

 

 

 

 

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3M WebinarRegister for 3M Canada’s upcoming webinar: How TTS™ Heat Trace Cables can help you on site.

3M Canada will be hosting a heat trace cables webinar, where you’ll learn about heat trace, heat trace applications (i.e.: pipe freeze protection, roof and gutter, and surface snow and ice melting), and the benefits of self-regulating heat trace cables—TTS™ Heat Trace Cables.

Self-regulating heat trace cables can adjust their output to the surrounding temperature down the cable length.

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Tools for the Trade

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LYTSwitch DriversPower Integrations announced new high-power-density members of its LYTSwitch™-6 family of safety-isolated LED-driver ICs for smart-lighting applications. The new ICs with PowiGaN™ technology enable designs that deliver up to 110 W with 94% conversion efficiency using a simple, flexible flyback topology.

The high efficiency of the new LYTSwitch-6 ICs eliminates the need for heatsinks – greatly reducing ballast size, weight and cooling airflow requirements. The 750 V PowiGaN primary switches provide very low RDS(ON) and reduced switching losses. 

 

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Peers & Profiles

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