With the ongoing and increasing demand for improved reliability and energy efficiency across all commercial buildings, a tremendous opportunity exists to capitalize on the benefits of DC microgrids.
Throughout building interiors and exteriors, numerous electrical systems rely on standard alternating current (AC) to be converted to direct current (DC) to be used by their components. HVAC, motor loads, pumps, lighting, information technology equipment, security, etc. – all of these systems require the conversion of power from AC to DC for their operation. Having directly available DC power can increase energy efficiency by eliminating losses associated with this conversion, as well as increase reliability due to the elimination of several transformer components.
Having a DC microgrid incorporated into the infrastructure of building interiors provides remarkable flexibility for the occupants. Electrical systems, such as lighting, can be easily reconfigured and relocated according to changing needs of the space without rewiring
Sustainability initiatives and zero net energy goals are driving the use of renewable energy sources, such as from solar photovoltaic, wind, and other alternate source systems. These DC power sources may be integrated for direct use by a microgrid system, eliminating the DC-AC-DC conversion losses.
A hybrid concept facilitates the modular adoption of a DC power strategy. The EMerge Alliance has outlined standards for Occupied Space and Data/Telecom Centers, which will be supplemented by standards for Outdoor and Building Services.
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