Top 5 Ways to Incorporate DC Microgrid Technology into a Commercial or Residential Setting

Riley Burke

Posted on Tuesday 9th July 2019

DC Microgrids are simply defined as a “driverless” energy storage device with wiring from a “Power hub Driver” (PhD). This fixture is thus able to effectively draw power from batteries, renewables, electric loads and/or electric vehicles, paving the way towards a greener, cleaner environment. The system utilizes high efficiency power converters and smart controls to optimize energy usage, allowing a DC bus to be very effectively managed, as compared to AC technology, which would necessitate less reliable inverters and phase management to work with other systems. For more on this technology, visit our DC Microgrids article, which provides further background information on the current role of DC microgrids and their wide ranging, practical advantages over a typical AC system. 

Other informative and interesting pieces on DC Microgrid Technology include…

Here are the top 5 ways to waste less electricity to optimize efficiency and performance with DC Microgrid technology:

  1. Solar Panels

Solar panels, whether they are on residential or commercial buildings, produce DC electricity. An inverter is then used to convert this DC power to AC, which wastes approximately 10% of the energy in this one step. Then, when the AC is sent throughout the various appliances/loads throughout the building, it is sometimes converted back to DC power, in turn wasting one third of the original energy amount generated by the solar panel. This process is clearly, through the senseless switching back and forth, wasteful and ineffective. For that reason, being able to use DC power, through the DC microgrids, within these buildings, would prevent noticeable losses that result from unnecessary transfers of energy. Additionally, this change is applicable to a wide group of people as it targets multiple building types, thus making it both a practical solution in addition to one that would very well have significant benefits in terms of saving energy and optimizing electricity usage for the sake of your wallet and the environment. 

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  1. Schools

Schools offer a unique opportunity for DC microgrid LED manufacturers to push their products into these places that could experience vast benefits from doing so. For example, troffers can be commonly found in schools throughout the country and the globe, and they have more recently become available in LED (as compared to fluorescent). This is a major step for lighting as transitioning to LED based troffer lights in schools will help drastically, most notably in terms of energy costs, maintenance costs, and even the performance of the lights themselves. Recognizing this, multiple companies including Marshall DC Lighting, ThinkLite LLC, and Ecolocity LED Lighting Solutions have begun to offer DC power LED troffers that feature benefits such as having longer lifespans, visual consistency, and extra energy savings that on a per fixture per year basis would quickly generate noticeable profits.

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  1. Prisons

The article Reducing Energy Costs In Prisons, Detention Centers, & Correctional Facilities most notably points out that, “average energy costs between 2018 and 2019 for this industry would have risen by over $1 billion USD, a rise faced by businesses in this field and tax-payers alike. However, the first step of overcoming this rise in cost can be supplemented with the implementation of energy saving LED.” A solution to this problem would be the LED hazard prevention tubes that Independence LED has “custom engineered for correctional facilities,” as they have no glass or aluminum that inmates could potentially use as weapons. Not only would this fixture offer an unprecedented level of safety in this environment, but it could also reduce energy consumption up to 80%. 

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  1. Large Indoor Spaces paired with LED High Bays

Multiple companies have begun to brand their LED high bay lighting fixtures as one’s that pair incredibly well with spaces such as gymnasiums and warehouses, that require evenly distributed light throughout the entire floor to ensure optimal conditions. For example, VST Lighting offers a variety of different sizes and models to best find what product fits your needs, highlights their longer lifespan guaranteed through a 5 year warranty, and points out that this purchase will optimize efficiency at a lower long term cost. Independence LED is another example of a company that not only offers a wide variety of high bay product sizes, but also has a uniquely designed Gymnasium High Bay with Cages for optimal safety.

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  1. Grow Lights and Indoor Agriculture

Indoor agriculture has become an efficient method in addressing the food security and food distribution inequality issues that currently plague the world. This method simply uses hydroponics, aeroponics, and LED Grow Lights as a more sustainable farming method that allows for food to be produced artificially using technology to simulate necessary growth conditions, in an environmentally friendly manner. Residentially, offers groundbreaking household LED grow lights that allow every household in the country the opportunity to grow their own food in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly manner. Thus, this DC power technology, whether it be through Independence LED or allows multiple consumer groups with wide ranging purposes, from science projects to commercial production, to sustainably produce and contribute to a greener society using this DC technology. 

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