The Direct Current (DC) Microgrid is the concept of localizing a campus or building's energy infrastructure, and completing the process of production, storage, and consumption all as DC electricity.
Traditionally, electricity is generated as DC electricity and then transported as Alternating Current (AC) electricity, and enters the building to be distributed as either 120 or 240 VAC. The end-device reconverts the 120/240VAC back to DC electricity as required. The multiple AC/DC conversions present in traditional electrical distribution create significant power losses, 2-20% power loss with each conversion.
Ideally, we would want to eliminate any AC/DC conversions and operate completely on DC electricity, a DC macrogrid. However, a complete DC macrogrid is still a way's off. Due to the limitations of transporting DC electricity over a long distance, AC electricity will continue to play a role in the macrogrid.
The complete DC microgrid however, is available now.
Data centers, sites with high concentrations of computing and networking equipment, have already begun to deploy DC microgrids as the default due to the improved efficiency, safety, reliability, as well as plug-and-play capabilities of DC infrastructure.
FOURIER's Smart Building Systems treat the DC microgrid as an integral component of any deployment. Smart Buildings and Green Net-Zero Building become one with Power over Ethernet (PoE). PoE combines data and power over a single cable, allowing for 100W of DC electricity and over 10,000 Mbps of data to be transferred over a single cable, ensuring power is consumed, connected, and controlled in the most efficient manner possible.
PoE makes the DC Microgrid a Smart Grid with benefits at all levels:
The case for the DC microgrid has found support in academia, industry, and government. Among which includes the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Who's 2019 report on the state of DC Microgrids can be found at the link below:
In 2017, a Berkeley Lab report featured a modelling study in which an All-DC electrical building was found to have 5% energy savings without battery storage, and 14% savings when battery storage was present.
Brown, RE, et al. Review of DC Power Distribution in Buildings: A Technology and Market Assessment. 9 June 2017.
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