A solar storage system in Knoxville, Tennessee

5 Things You Need to Know About Solar Storage

Solar energy storage installations and deployments set a record in 2020, with each quarter breaking the record-breaking previous quarter. The use of solar energy and solar energy storage systems is becoming more accepted and prevalent. Here are a few things you should know about solar storage:

1 – The Decreasing Cost of Solar Storage

The cost of installing a solar storage system has decreased steadily over the last ten years. And future technology and efficiency improvements should continue to reduce the cost of installing and operating a solar storage system, getting you a faster ROI.

This cost depends on many factors such as the type of solar storage system you want to install, the area where you live, and the number and composition of the batteries used within the system. A complete solar storage system can cost between $14,000 and $25,000.

A solar storage system in Knoxville, Tennessee

2 – The Type and Lifespan of Solar Storage Batteries

Most solar storage systems use high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries which are widely available, energy-efficient, have good performance, and can last between 15 and 30 years.

3 – How Solar Energy Is Stored

Solar panels transfer energy to the batteries during daylight and sunny hours. These batteries can hold that energy and use it during the night or when the sun cannot provide enough power for your needs alone. Solar energy can be stored in these batteries for one to five days before the battery loses its charge.

4 – Excess Energy Equals Electric Company Credit

Some solar storage systems provide the option for transmitting excess energy back into the electrical grid for credit from the electric company. Imagine getting an electric bill where they pay you money!

5 – Solar Storage Systems Are a Green Alternative to Backup Generators

In recent years weather-related events have resulted in massive outages in North Carolina, Florida, and areas along the West Coast. Severe heat can cause the energy demand to exceed the supply causing a need for rolling blackouts during peak usage. In addition, snow and ice storms, severe thunderstorms, and weather-related events such as hurricanes can damage the electrical grid causing outages that can last days or weeks. With a solar storage system, you can maintain your power independently of the grid, allowing you to maintain power without using additional fuel. During a widespread natural disaster, generators and the diesel fuel needed to power them may be expensive and difficult (if not impossible) to find. A solar storage system allows you to maintain energy independence during these challenging events.

Is a Solar Storage System Installation Right for You?

Give Tri-State Electrical Contractors a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com, and we can provide you with a comprehensive solar energy assessment to help determine what solar storage solution might work best for you.

High-voltage electrical work by industrial electrician in Atlanta

Why You Should Hire Experienced Professional Industrial Electricians

The average person can complete most residential electrical projects with some knowledge and expert guidance via YouTube. But industrial electrical equipment is a whole other ballgame. Industrial electrical equipment is extremely complex, handles high voltages, is highly specialized, and is extremely dangerous if installed or maintained by anyone who isn’t a trained, experienced industrial electrician.

High-voltage electrical work by industrial electrician in Atlanta

Industrial Electricians Are Safer

Inexperienced electricians endanger everyone in the building. Improper equipment installation can create fire and electrical hazards that can cause tremendous damage to the equipment and facilities, injuring or possibly killing anyone who works with that equipment. Industrial electricians receive extensive safety training before they ever get to work on an industrial electrical project and ongoing training for the equipment they work on.

Industrial Electricians Are Expert Problem Solvers

The biggest challenge that industrial electricians face is not the equipment’s installation but the environment where that equipment is installed. Interfacing industrial equipment with electrical systems can present many challenges, such as:

  • Old buildings with an inadequate electrical infrastructure to operate industrial equipment safely
  • Interfacing old industrial equipment with new electrical systems
  • Integrating new industrial equipment into an existing installation and production setup
  • Insufficient or inadequate wiring for the existing industrial equipment
  • Correctly diagnosing and repairing current industrial equipment

No solid guidelines or resources are available for some of the highly specialized industrial electrical configurations used. In addition, every industrial business has its own quirks and eccentricities that must be factored in when installing industrial equipment.

Industrial Electricians Save Time

Because industrial electricians believe in extensive training and experience to earn certificates to work in the field, they have resources and specialized equipment that other electrical workers do not. Where other electricians struggle to figure out which tools to address the issue, an industrial electrician will have the tools necessary and the knowledge to fix the issue. Industrial electricians are also familiar with the technology and industrial equipment within the customers’ industries, making finding and resolving problems faster.

Industrial Electricians Save Money

Getting an electrical problem fixed right the first time by an experienced industrial electrician is far better than saving a few dollars by hiring a non-specialized electrician or even trying to do it yourself and needing it to be redone. An incorrect installation or repair can also result in a fire or electrical shock, which may cause significant (and expensive) damage to your equipment, buildings, and even your people.

Because of an industrial electrician’s training and experience, they can complete even difficult work quickly, getting that equipment back online fast and limiting costly downtime. Experienced industrial electricians also can identify possible issues before they become bad enough to result in downtime or damage and pre-emptively fix them when the fix is cheaper.

Looking for Experienced Industrial Electricians?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is one of the premier industrial and commercial electrical providers in the Southeastern U.S. Whether you are looking for industrial electrical installation or repair, PLC programming services, or high voltage electrical services, Tri-State Electrical Contractors can deliver. For more information or to get a quote, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Electric vehicle charging station installation Atlanta

5 Little Known Facts About Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installations

A 2020 report published by the International Energy Association estimates that there will be 245 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030. This means that there has to be a robust electric charging station infrastructure installed and in place by that time. This creates a need for widespread electric vehicle charging station installations in homes, offices, and other businesses. Here are a few little-known facts about electric vehicle charging stations:

1 – Experts Expect the Percentage of Electric Vehicles within the Overall Vehicle Stock to be 30% by 2030

The EV30@30 initiative aims for the global passenger electric vehicle stock to consist of at least 30% EVs by 2030. This target assumes an annual growth rate of about 36% between 2019 and 2030.

Electric vehicle charging station installation Atlanta

2 – Interest in Electric Vehicles Has Been Increasing Steadily

As of 2020, nearly 1.8 million EVs were registered in the U.S., more than three times as many as in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 7% of U.S. adults already have an electric or hybrid vehicle, and 39% stated they are very or somewhat likely to seriously consider buying an electric vehicle the next time they’re in the market for a new vehicle.

3 – Electrical Vehicle Charging Station Installations Also Rising Steadily

According to the evadoption.com website, the number of DC fast chargers grew by more than 4,200 ports, a 24 percent increase at the end of 2021 versus year-end 2020. EV charging infrastructure construction initiatives have been earmarked with $7.5 billion, combined with the Department of Energy’s low-interest loan program, an expected doubling of new EV sales in the US, and nationwide companies such as Circle K and 7-Eleven getting into providing EV charging infrastructure, ensures more significant growth in 2022.

4 – New Homes Required to Provide EV Charging Stations

In the UK, EV charging stations installed in new homes have been a standard practice for several years.  In 2020 the International Code Council (ICC) approved US building code changes to ensure that all new homes are “EV ready” by mandating EV charging station installation. Soon the electrical infrastructure for EVs will be as common as installing a 240-volt outlet for home appliances.

5 – Off-Grid Solar Charging Stations Technology Emerging

A combination of highly efficient solar panels and solar storage solutions makes an electric vehicle charging station feasible. This is especially helpful for those who don’t travel far or often in their electric vehicles.

Need an EV Charging Station or Solar Storage Solution Installation?

Give Tri-State Electrical Contractors a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com Our industrial and commercial electricians understand the components, infrastructure, and needs of these options.

A power distribution center installation from Tri-State Electrical, a commercial and industrial electrical contractor

Radial vs. Ring Power Distribution Systems – What Are the Differences?

Most commercial and industrial electrical system installations involve an electrical power distribution system. An electric power distribution system is between the transmission station and individual industrial and commercial customers. Typically, this power is transmitted at a lower voltage than the transmission of power over long transmission lines over great distances. The distribution system tends to step down power to commercial and industrial electrical systems.

A power distribution center installation from Tri-State Electrical, a commercial and industrial electrical contractor

The most common electrical power distribution systems include:

  • Radial Power Distribution Systems
  • Ring Power Distribution Systems

What is a Radial Power Distribution System?

A radial power distribution system is used for substations or generating stations located at the center of the customer’s location. For a radial PDS In this system, the feeders push electricity from one end to the distributors located at the other end. The energy can only flow in one direction.

Advantages of Radial PDS

  • Simple design and setup
  • Low initial cost

Disadvantages of Radial PDS

  • Not as reliable as other systems
  • A fault in one feeder cuts off power to the distributor and doesn’t provide any backup feeder

Radial Parallel Feeder Distribution Systems

There is a version of the radial power distribution system called a parallel feeder power distribution system. This doubles the number of feeders within the system, which improves reliability but adds considerable expense due to the doubling of the feeders.

What is a Ring Power Distribution System?

Ring distribution systems are designed so that every distribution transformer connects with two feeders using different paths. These feeders form a loop that starts at the substation bus bars, goes through the load area feeding distribution transformers and returns to the substation bus bars.

Advantages of a Ring PDS

  • Very reliable system
  • Fewer voltage fluctuations at terminal locations
  • Improved continuity of the power supply

Disadvantages of a Ring Main Distribution System

  • High initial cost.

Looking for an Experienced Industrial or Commercial Electrical Services Provider?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is one of the premier industrial and commercial electrical providers in the Southeastern U.S. Whether you are looking for an industrial electric generator installation, a solar storage solution, or PLC programming and installation services, Tri-State Electrical Contractors can deliver. For more information or to get a quote, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

CCTV installation by Tri-State Electrical a premier CCTV installation company in Chattanooga

7 Beneficial Uses of CCTV

CCTV is the abbreviation for Closed-Circuit Television. The difference between CCTV and standard TV is that in CCTV, the video only broadcasts to a limited network of monitors, not over the airwaves. CCTV has been around for decades, and installing a Closed-Circuit Television network is still a cost-effective way to transmit video within your home or business. Here are just a few of the ways to use CCTV.

1 – Video Surveillance

Most uses of CCTV involve video surveillance of some sort. Most commonly to prevent or prosecute criminal activity. Using video surveillance in high-crime areas helps gather evidence for investigations, deter illegal activity, and provide eyes on more secluded sites such as stairwells, garages, rooftops, and back alleys.

CCTV installation by Tri-State Electrical a premier CCTV installation company in Chattanooga

2 – Workplace Surveillance

Video surveillance via CCTV helps reduce incidences of internal theft, sexual harassment, and other inappropriate activities at the workplace. The presence of cameras make employees think twice before misbehaving.

3 – Emergency Information

A CCTV camera can be moved into dangerous emergencies such as a hostage situation, a fire, or weather-related calamity and the first responders can safely review and monitor these situations without putting them in danger.

4 – Monitoring Traffic

Not only can CCTV be used at traffic lights to catch drivers speeding or running red lights, but they can also monitor traffic and other events and conditions in real-time or monitor community street activities. This information can also be used for research purposes to improve traffic flow and provide up-to-the-minute information about the traffic within the city.


5 – Child Safety

A video baby monitor is a simple CCTV system. This allows you to monitor the kids to ensure they are safe and alert you if they are awake or in distress.

6 – Improving Safety at Your Business

Having CCTV cameras active in the parking lots, hallways, stairwells, and other public spaces of your business creates a sense of security among your employees and customers. CCTV can also deter potential thieves by making them look for easier targets with less surveillance.

7 – Marketing Research

CCTV can provide valuable data about shoppers who visit brick-and-mortar stores such as:

  • How customers move around the store
  • Which areas of the store attract the most traffic
  • Which aisles get the most traffic within the store
  • When are the busiest times for the store

These are just a few of the ways that CCTV can be used to improve your home, workplace, or business.

Need CCTV Installed ASAP?

Give Tri-State Electrical Contractors a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com  Our industrial and commercial electricians understand the components, networks, and needs of CCTV systems.

Electric vehicle charging station installation in Nashville

What is Involved in an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation?

If you have recently purchased a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) or own or manage a business, there will be a time very soon when you will need to install a charging station. There are several steps involved with installing an EV charging station.

Electric vehicle charging station installation in Nashville

Location Assessment

One of the most important parts of installing an electric vehicle charging station is finding the right location for it. For a home charging station, this is easy. Install it where you park the vehicle. For a business, this can be complicated because you have to consider several other factors:

  • How many employees or customers have an EV
  • A location where to construct the EV charging station
  • How many vehicles can be charged at one time
  • Does the location have an adequate power infrastructure in place to support the EV charging station(s) to be installed? Or does the power infrastructure require an upgrade to handle the workload?
  • Is the location well-lit and secure?

Infrastructure Assessment

A reputable team of EV charging station installers takes time to review the infrastructure that will support the charging station. In addition to reviewing the power infrastructure, the team may determine if any construction, concrete work, or excavation needs to happen within and around the charging station site.

Obtaining Permits and Inspections (if applicable)

The EV charging station team will work with local officials and agencies to line up the proper permits and inspections for the construction of the charging station.

Incentive Review

There are many city, state, and Federal incentives and rebates available for customers who install green energy infrastructure. These can be tax breaks, utility company rebates, and local and state credits. These vary from location to location. Be sure to work with an experienced electric vehicle charging station installer to help apply for all the rebates you qualify for.


This stage of the process may involve some excavation, running electrical cables to buildings, building the infrastructure surrounding the EV charging station, such as a charging bay, light poles, landscaping, and much more.

Looking for an Experienced Electric Charging Station Installer?

Then look no further. Tri-State Electrical is one of the premier electric charging station installers in the Southestern US. For more information or to get a quote for an EV charging station installation, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Testing by one of the best structured cabling field testing companies in Knoxville

7 Benefits of Installing Optical Fiber Cabling Over Copper Wire

Copper cables have been the gold standard for most wiring jobs for over 100 years. They are highly conductive and great for voice transmission. But fiber optic cable is superior in many ways for structured network and backbone cabling. Here are some of them.

1 — Transmits Faster

Because fiber optic cables use a light core to carry and transmit data, the signals travel at about 70% of the speed of light (or close to 470,000,000 MPH). This is much faster than any copper cable can manage. As a result, there is also less signal degradation with fiber cables.

2 – Carries Signals Over Longer Distances

Copper wiring has a limitation of around 328 feet before the signal degrades. Fiber optic cables can carry signals much farther—miles instead of feet. The distance depends on the fiber optic cable type used, the signal’s wavelength, and the network that supports it.

Testing by one of the best structured cabling field testing companies in Knoxville

3 – Greater Bandwidth

When comparing copper cables to optical fiber cables of a similar size, fiber optic cable carries far more data than copper cables can.

4 – More Reliable

Copper carries electricity. As a result, bad weather, extreme temperature changes, and even a little moisture can reduce copper cables’ connectivity and effectiveness. Also, because it carries electric current, it is susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI), which can disrupt transmission. Because fiber uses light instead of an electric current, it is immune to extreme temperatures, bad weather, EMI, and moisture. It is also corrosion-resistant.

5 – Lighter and More Rugged

Copper is heavy and bulky. When comparing fiber cables to copper cables, fiber optic cables are thinner and lighter. Because of the nature of fiber optic cable, it is far less fragile than copper. It can be pulled, bent, and twisted in ways that copper cannot.

6 – Easier to Install

When installing cabling, copper can be more challenging because it has to be thicker to handle the bandwidth of a typical organization. For this reason, it is challenging to run copper wire through walls, it requires bigger holes to run them through and more construction to make the copper cable work smoothly. Because fiber optic cable is significantly thinner, it requires a lot less space and work to get them where they need to go in a building.

7 – Integrates Well Into Existing Technology

Today’s network equipment manufacturers produce components that allow you to integrate fiber-optic-cable into existing networks. Because fiber optic cable uses light instead of electricity, it can be installed along old electrical cables without causing interference.  

Looking for a Fiber Optic Network Equipment Installation?

Give Tri-State Electrical Contractors a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com  Our industrial and commercial electricians understand the components, networks, and needs of modern-day fiber optic systems.

Electric vehicle charging station in Chattanooga

Two Things You Need to Know About Electric Vehicle Chargers

Since 2010, over 2.4 million hybrid and electric vehicles have been sold in the US. Between January 2021 and January 2022, there has been a 37% increase in the number of “plug-in” electric vehicles and hybrids sold. With a Biden Administration executive order targeting 50% of all vehicle sales to be electric vehicle sales by 2030, US drivers have numerous incentives to purchase these vehicles. What does this mean for you? A greater need for infrastructure to support electric cars. But what are some of the things you should know about electric vehicle chargers?

Electric vehicle charging station in Chattanooga

There Are Different “Levels” of Electric Vehicle Chargers

A Level 1 charger uses a standard 120-volt electric outlet which most homes already have in their garages or near where they park their vehicles. The convenience is great, but the speed of charging using a 120-volt is very slow, up to 8 hours to fully charge a hybrid and up to 20 for an electric vehicle. And for commuters who drive a lot, that might be a problem.

Level 2 chargers use a 240-volt outlet—like the one used by your dryer and allow you to charge your vehicles up to 5 times faster than a Level 1 charging station.

Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations are designed for residential use. Level 3 charging stations use very high voltages to charge electric vehicles quickly and are better used in commercial applications when many vehicles need one charging station.

The Cost of Electric Vehicle Chargers

There are two significant expenses associated with powering electric vehicles; the cost of hiring a qualified commercial electrical company to install an electric vehicle charging station and the cost of electricity.

The cost of charging the average electric vehicle is about the same as running the average central air conditioning system for 6 to 12 hours. When compared to the price of gas, this cost is a bargain.

Although you can install an electric vehicle charging station yourself, that might not be a good idea. If it isn’t done correctly, the charging station may damage the vehicle’s battery which is (by far) the most expensive component in the vehicle. Instead, having a trained professional such as the commercial electricians at Tri-State Electrical Contractors is a better idea. At Tri-State Electrical, our electricians have been trained to properly install electric vehicle charging stations and can do it for residential, commercial, or industrial electrical customers.

For more information or to get a quote for our commercial or industrial electrical services, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Industrial electrical contractors troubleshooting industrial electrical problems

4 Common Challenges Industrial Electrical Contractors Face

Industrial electrical contractors are highly-specialized workers in a highly specialized field. Although many of the challenges they encounter are not unique, awareness of them is critical to avoid damage, injury, and potential work stoppage due to these issues.

Industrial electrical contractors troubleshooting industrial electrical problems

1 – Power Surges

Where surge protectors protect personal computers and other electronic items in our homes, power surges are more common in industrial environments and more damaging because of the size and power needed by the equipment used in the building. Industrial electrical contractors understand this and design power systems that can handle these surges while protecting the company’s equipment and employees.

2 – Power Loss

Whether due to storm damage, accident, or planned maintenance, industrial businesses must keep running regardless of the situation. As a result, industrial electrical companies provide a variety of backup power generation sources such as backup generators or off-grid power sources such as solar and wind. In most industrial environments, downtime is never a good thing.

3 – Worn Out Equipment

Most industrial equipment gets a lot of use; as a result, wear and tear are inevitable. However, some of these problems are easy to resolve because they are designed to be replaceable, such as bulbs, fuses, and switches.

Other problems require some troubleshooting, and because of the nature of industrial equipment and environments, this may require industrial electrical troubleshooting to identify the issue. This type of troubleshooting requires extensive knowledge and experience with the company’s environment and variety of equipment. In addition, this type of troubleshooting may involve using highly-specialized equipment for issues that are particularly difficult to track down.

4 – Defective Wiring

Wiring is the most common point of failure within industrial electrical equipment and, in many ways, the most dangerous. When wiring isn’t installed correctly, is the wrong gauge for the job, or the insulation is worn away, it is unsafe and sometimes tricky to find. A knowledgeable industrial electrical contractor can help mitigate these issues and fix them when they encounter them.

Let Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provide Industrial Electrical Services for Your Business

Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands what modern industrial companies need in the ever-changing, complex world. We provide superior industrial electrical services, including equipment installation, troubleshooting, PLC installation and programming, the install of electrical equipment in new industrial plants, and much more. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need quickly and competently. For more information, call us at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at info@tristateec.com today.

Industrial electrical services partnered with the CORE Safety Group

Who is the CORE Safety Group?

The CORE Safety Group is an organization with vast knowledge and considerable experience with the safety challenges in different industrial environments, including construction, manufacturing, mining, municipal, oil and gas, transportation, and power industries. This experience includes credentials from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, including:

  • Certified Safety Professional (CSP)
  • Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Technician (OHST)

These certifications identify the CORE Safety Group as the premier safety and health practitioners and leaders in this area.

Industrial electrical services partnered with the CORE Safety Group

Services Offered by the CORE Safety Group

Our leadership members at CORE Safety Group have degrees in Occupational Safety Management and hold credentials that are certified through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and offer services such as:

  • Safe Assist Program – For a specified number of hours each month, CORE provides a Safety Manager to serve as your organization’s Safety Manager, to provide customized safety management services to meet your company’s specific safety needs. The Safety Manager works closely with your team to provide training, schedule safety inspections, and other services.
  • Safety Audits and Risk Assessments – Because of CORE’s broad, cross-industry knowledge, they are well-suited to provide safety auditing and risk assessments that effectively mitigate risk and prevent safety issues specific to your industry.  
  • · Mock OSHA Inspections – These help ensure that your company can pass OSHA inspections and provide the training necessary to build awareness of the safety issues that may result in violations.

Benefits of an Industrial Electrical Services Company with CORE Safety Group Certifications

So how does hiring an industrial electrical services company with CORE Safety Group Certifications benefit your business? Here are a few of the ways:

  • Assurance that Electrical Work Meets or Exceeds Safety Requirements – Because electrical work interacts with almost every major system within industrial infrastructures, it is critical for the safety of your property and people that all electrical work is done right.
  • Reduces Accidents and Injuries – Industrial electricians with CORE Safety Group Certifications deliver work that understands how that particular business uses electricity and implements it correctly, resulting in fewer incidents.
  • Improves the Company’s Reputation for Safety – Because of high-quality electrical work and the reduced accidents and injuries that result, the company gains a reputation for safety which builds confidence in the goods and services your company provides.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Partners with the CORE Safety Group

Tri-State Electrical ensures that the industrial electrical services they provide meet or exceed all OSHA requirements. For more information or a quote for our commercial or industrial electrical services, call (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form or email us at info@tristateec.com today.