The Term ELV (Extra Low Voltage):
Stated by International Electrotechnical Commission, a system having capability of operation on a voltage not greater than 35V AC that is equivalent to 60V ripple free DC. From electrical point of view, the term is correct but it does not describe those systems known.
Extra low voltage terminology is extensively used in construction industry in efforts for electrically defining the collection of systems requires electric current to run inside a building. However, such systems are not associated with the main electrical system of the building.
All of the modern technologies that are the requirements of every building are been covered by ELV systems. Systems like CCTV, data networks, access control and systems detecting intrusion, home automation and fire alarm systems are in range of ELV.
ELV design consultant KSA, Dubai and American based service providers have briefly explained some abbreviations that are creating confusion while talking about extra low voltage. The constantly pop up abbreviations regarding extra low voltage systems include:
LAN And WLAN:
LANs are known as Local Area Networks or Structured Cabling Systems (SCS) are the data cabling that enable users for networking their computer devices or access to the internet inside a building.
CAT6 from a Master Distribution Frame such as equipment rack are the LANs in a small building. However, in larger infrastructures, the multiple Intermediate Distribution Frames connected through optical fiber cables where no electricity is passing are still known as ELVs.
WLANs are the wireless LANs access points providing coverage of wireless network both outside and inside a building. Extra low voltage systems are dependent on LAN infrastructure inside a building as much the technology is enhancing time by time.
Several years ago, analogue telephone systems were commonly used that were setup by multi-pair copper telephone cables. Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) was required for connection with these systems for communication purpose.
However, all of those analogue telephone systems are currently been replaced with Voice Over IP (VOIP) solutions that need no special and separate cabling structure. VOIPs depend on the LAN infrastructure of the building for interconnections.
Closed Circuit TVs (CCTV) are the camera systems inside or outside a building for providing monitoring scrutiny. A separate coaxial cables were used for analogue cameras connected directly to the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that are completely replaced with IP Cameras still utilizing the common LAN infrastructure of building.
ELV systems in construction terminology are not only limited to those discussed above. ELV design consultant KSA and around the world are still constantly exploring this wide field with devices and systems used inside building using LAN infrastructure.
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