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Electrical Systems

Design of the electrical installations in a building used to be simple and straightforward. Such installations generally included electrical service from a utility company; power distribution within the building for receptacles, air conditioning, and other electrical loads; lighting; and a few specialty systems, such as fire alarm and telephone. There were, of course, some specialized installations for which this simple description did not apply, but such buildings were uncommon. Now, however, design of electrical systems has become more complex and sophisticated. This development has been driven by rapid advances in technology, availability of computers and computerized equipment, more enlightened life-safety and security concerns, and changes in the philosophical outlook of workers toward their workplace and their need for a comfortable environment. To meet these needs, a new building will likely include in its electrical installation an access control system, intrusion detection system, an extensive computer data network, Internet access, uninterruptible power supply, and numerous other systems not commonly installed in the past. Corollary to the advent of these new building systems is the need for suitable power quality to support them. Though highly sophisticated and capable, these systems can easily be disrupted or damaged by power system anomalies such as sags, surges, noise, and power outages. Electrical design elements to protect against these disturbances must be included and must be designed to be appropriately sensitive, fast, and robust. The introduction of electrical competition  in some states adds further complexity to the electrical system design problem. Not only have these systems become common but the basic electrical systems have undergone drastic changes. Advances in electrical-power-distribution materials and methods, which have occurred at a nearly uniform rate since the turn of the century, have accelerated rapidly under the influence of computers and microprocessor controls. New light sources give designers added opportunities to improve lighting and energy efficiency. Microprocessor-based fire-alarm systems with addressable devices offer greatly improved protection, flexibility, and economy. And establishment of more local telecommunication operating companies and competition between them, encouraging innovation, has brought designers new choices and challenges with respect to telecommunication systems for buildings. Nevertheless, the basic principles of electrical design still apply, and they are described in this section. In addition, the section was developed to be helpful to those who must assume responsibility for applying, coordinating, integrating, and installing the many electrical systems now available for buildings.

—–15.1 Electrical Power
—–15.2 Direct-Current Systems
—–15.3 Alternating-Current Systems
—–15.4 Electrical Loads
—–15.5 Emergency Power
—–15.6 Electrical Conductors and Raceways
—–15.7 Power System Apparatus
—–15.8 Electrical Distribution in Buildings
—–15.9 Circuit and Conductor Calculations
—–15.10 Light and Sight
—–15.11 Quality of Light
—–15.12 Color Rendering with Lighting
—–15.13 Quantity of Light
—–15.14 Lighting Methods
—–15.15 Daylight
—–15.16 Characteristics of Lamps
—–15.17 Characteristics of Lighting Fixtures
—–15.18Systems Design of Lighting
—–15.19 Special Electrical Systems

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