What are the driving forces behind expansion of LVDC beyond Data Center Applications?
The ability to directly link between photovoltaics or energy storage mechanisms and direct current (DC) rated utilization equipment is an attractive option to avoid the potential energy losses and heat generation associated with power conversion from DC-to-AC-to-DC. Many pieces of utilization equipment, particularly IT, home electronics and appliances, and office equipment are actually operated by DC supplied from individual power supplies that convert the AC current from the utility or building electrical supply system. Eliminating these "bricks" would result in less clutter and may provide some efficiency improvement in energy utilization. However, there seems to be little movement beyond Data Center applications, and future anticipation for expanded use of Electric Vehicles, despite the potential savings. Perhaps the cost of retrofit does not outweigh the potential benefits and the technology is still young enough that architects and building designers are not yet comfortable for mainstream implementation. So the first question is whether there are any other driving forces that can be tapped to facilitate expanded use of LVDC where it would provide benefits or move LVDC to the forefront where it would be an enabler of power availability? The second question would be what steps can be taken to encourage adoption of LVDC where appropriate and what will it take to implement those steps? It seems that there are numerous applications where LVDC makes sense and will provide benefits to the users and society. The next steps seem to be to facilitate the early adopters to take the plunge for implementation and to generate the experience and expansion of application so that the benefits of LVDC installations can be enabled where ever appropriate. A part of this future work will be NEMA cooperation with EMerge Alliance for the development of application standards and equipment standards as related to the use of dc power in buildings and associated properties.
04-02-2012 6:37 AM