DC Micro-grids: The Future of Power

7-29-2013 DC Micro-grids: The Future of Power

AC or DC?

Today, most households are powered by  ‘alternating current’, which we commonly know as AC, but as consumers are less and less satisfied with living on the grid, and more and more home appliances are powered by ‘direct current’, DC micro-grids are becoming a viable option.  One of the advantages of DC (direct current), one does not have to worry about blackouts caused by overloaded power grids during peak usage. The rising costs of power from the grid, unacceptable environmental impacts, and other concerns make using DC power and DC micro-grids more appealing.

Most devices that are used on a daily basis (i.e. laptops, cell phones, Ipads) are already run on DC power, but necessities such as refrigerators, lighting, and water pumps will need to be converted to run on a direct current before switching over to all DC power is feasible. With LED lights using up to ten times less power, lighting will be easy to convert to DC.

 Direct Current and DC Micro-grids

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DC power is produced by sources such as batteries and solar cells. Using direct current instead of alternating current leaves a smaller carbon footprint, and is sustainable, unlike the system we use today. DC power can also be stored in batteries for later use, making it usable even when the regular energy supply is interrupted.Most people already use DC micro-grids and don’t even realize it. Cars are DC micro-grids, with the battery supplying energy to the car, charging devices, providing HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and the car itself provides shelter. There are also businesses and residences that are successfully “off the grid” using DC batteries to store energy gathered from solar cells, wind turbines, and other sources of power. The stored DC power can also be sold to power companies for a small amount, where it is converted to AC power and used.

 Changing From AC to DC

AC power was at one time more efficient than using DC power, but with the recent innovations in the solar industry and in battery technology, AC may  no longer the most efficient type of energy. The use of fossil fuels is also limited, making the switch to direct current even more desirable. There will be resistance from power companies because of the money they currently make, but more and more people are turning to alternate power sources. There is no doubt that DC micro-grids will power the not-so-distant future. They are already gaining popularity, and it is only a matter of time before everyone switches over to DC. The ability to generate your own power for little or no cost, to not have to worry about blackouts, the environment, and the rising cost of energy bill.

 For More Information

Check out GreenLancer.com for information on how to start your own micro-grid using solar energy. For more information on how DC micro-grids work, their benefits, and more then click on the following links: DC Microgrids: Next Big Trend in Renewable Energy?  DC microgrids: a new source of local power generation?

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