Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

DC Current

Gregory Reed

Direct Current (DC) electric power is an emerging disruptive technological area that has the potential to stimulate economic growth, inspire innovation, increase research and development opportunities, create jobs, and simultaneously advance environmental sustainability. 

DC technology and applications offer the promise of enhanced energy efficiency, improved power quality and reliability, and inherent alignment with renewable and clean energy development.

The power of direct current (DC)

DC power is beginning to evolve towards replacing AC as a worldwide standard for electricity delivery infrastructure, in many applications, based on the nine reasons listed below:

1. DC power is significantly more energy efficient than AC power.
• DC motors and appliances have higher efficiency and power to size characteristics.
• DC-based lighting (LED) is as much as 75% more efficient than incandescent lighting.
• The greater efficiency resulting from recent developments in DC converter technology allows improvements in electricity delivery over long distances.

2. DC is inherently compatible with renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind. These renewable sources generate power intermittently (when the sun shines or the wind blows), requiring storage (batteries) in some applications as part of the system in order to provide reliable supply, and also require a power conversion interface to the grid. Solar PV is inherently a DC energy supply, as are batteries, making DC a more naturally compatible interface.

3. Energy storage integration is enhanced. Energy storage is required to improve the capacity utilization of renewable energy supplies. Most energy storage technologies are DC-based (primarily in the form of battery technologies), creating opportunities for improved integration efficiencies and reduced operating losses.

4. Electronic equipment operates on DC power. There is a loss of 5% to 20% when AC power is converted to DC power. The increasing reliance on electronic equipment creates a greater need for DC power. Eliminating these conversion losses from AC to DC will become even more important, and will motivate a shift to DC power, and require advances in new power conversion technologies.

5. DC and Hybrid AC/DC micro-grids are being developed. Micro-grid applications can effectively integrate local power generation with the main power grid to effectively serve defined end-use loads; improve reliability, especially under disturbance event conditions; and create opportunities to buy and sell (net metering) power to minimize energy costs to the consumer.

6. The technology needed to gain the advantages of DC power in data centers, homes, and communities is making significant advances.

• DC power is already in use at the “bottom of the pyramid,” for example in rural India and China, because the national (AC) power grid does not reach there. Four states in India are experimenting with providing DC power to homes; a 2014 initiative that is created and led by a partner in the Business of Humanity® project, with the financial support of the Central Government in India.

• Also, the most significant new consumers of electric power today are the companies (Google, Apple, Visa, etc.) at the “apex of the pyramid,” which operate computer data centers and server farms. They need DC power because electronics require DC power. New developments for DC applications are creating investment in local DC power generation in order to ensure 24/7 reliability with zero downtime, and improve the efficiency of supply.

• Electric vehicles use DC (battery) power and their batteries can be charged using DC power in a small fraction of the time needed for charging using AC power. In Europe, smart villages that use DC power are being designed, and electric vehicles are envisaged as part of the storage system for renewable power.

7. New technologies support clean, local, distributed generation of DC power. Solar, wind, second-generation clean biomass, and innovative, low-cost fuel cell designs that use natural gas are ideal for green, local power generation. DC infrastructure will help to better improve the integration of such resources into the grid, and enhance their overall economic and environmental value proposition.

8. Many new long distance transmission lines in the U.S., China, India, and Europe are moving toward ultra-high voltage DC (HVDC). In the U.S., the new transmission lines from major wind and solar farms in the mid-west and western states are being planned as HVDC, in addition to an emergence of HVDC merchant transmission projects throughout the county. There already are approximately 20 HVDC systems in operation in the U.S. and Canada. All of China’s new high voltage transmission is planned as HVDC, with dozens of systems already in operation and over 20 new systems in planning stages. Europe is expanding and upgrading much of its transmission infrastructure with HVDC being a significant part of their plans, including interconnection of nations and continents. HVDC transmission is cheaper than AC at a certain distance for power delivery, because of recently developed disruptive technologies involving power semi-conductors. Other esoteric technical reasons (such as elimination of the “skin effect” that arises with AC) and reduced losses through advanced power converter designs motivate the shift to DC transmission. Moreover, the investment for HVDC transmission is less because the gauges (thickness) of the wires can be smaller, and because one less wire is required (two poles for DC vs. three-phases for AC). Therefore, many of the major reasons why the world went with AC at the turn of the 20th century are no longer relevant. Today there are strong economic reasons and sustainability-related incentives to invest in DC infrastructure.

9. In China and Europe, new cities and villages are being envisioned that will be entirely DC powered. In green-field applications, from resource and delivery infrastructure to end-use applications, complete DC system concepts and operation are being considered in many developing parts of the world. As we look to electrify more remote parts of the globe, there are many advantages to employing DC infrastructure.

Read the rest of the series:
- 9 Reasons Why DC May Replace AC: Part 2

 


 

Gregory Reed, PhD, is the Director of the Electric Power Initiative in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Director of the University’s Center for Energy, and Associate Professor of Electric Power Engineering in the Swanson School’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He is also the Director and Technical Lead of the Grid Technologies Collaborative for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory, and an inaugural member of the National Academies of Science and Engineering's Energy Ambassador Program. In addition to these roles, he is the owner and principal consultant of Power Grid Technology Consulting, LLC.

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
As part of ESA’s expanding online services, the new Plan Review Portal will provide more options ...
Looking to enhance your business skills as an Electrical Contractor? These courses were designed to ...
Southwire has aquired Construction Electrical Products (CEP) of Livermore, CA. Serving the ...
A century of trust: UL in Canada is celebrating our 100th anniversary! We proudly support the ...
Recent events in Ontario, including 4 noose incidents being investigated by Toronto police, have ...
Double up on safety with Eaton's new revolutionary line-side isolation safety switch. ...
A New Brunswick provincial program aimed at supporting and mentoring women in apprenticeable trades ...
Government Relations Minister Lori Carr announced the transfer of gas and electrical licensing ...
IDEAL continues to recognize the essential work electricians are doing during this global crisis. ...
Stay Wired to Win is a monthly at-home challenge designed to keep your competitive spark going ...


CSABook your place for CSA virtual instructor-led Hazardous Area Requirements course October 5-8th. The CSA Group Hazardous Area Requirements for Electrical Equipment course provides a systematic approach for designing, installing and maintaining electrical equipment in Hazardous Areas.

From equipment selection to wiring methods and installation requirements, the safe installation of electrical equipment in hazardous locations depends on rigorous attention to detail. This course will provide a foundation of knowledge to help operations, maintenance, safety, electrical professionals and other stakeholders systematically apply the requirements for designing, installing and maintaining electrical equipment in hazardous locations. 

Read More


 

IBEWIBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson recently announced the “IBEW Strong” initiative to grow a more inclusive and representative union, and IBEW leaders in Canada are embracing the push to increase diversity while continuing to educate the best electrical workers in the world. It’s something that’s been an IBEW priority for many years.

“We have an opportunity as an industry to solve multiple problems by putting people to work,” said Cheryl Paron, an international representative in charge of the First District’s outreach to traditionally underrepresented communities.

 

Read More


 



Supermarket LightingTraditional brick-and-mortar supermarkets are reconfiguring their store layouts and lighting designs as part of their new strategy to retain customers, attract new ones and remain relevant in the rapidly changing grocery retail channel.

As online competition and dollar stores capture more dry-goods business, supermarkets are shifting their focus away from shrinking center aisles to their perimeters where they can feature more fresh foods.

 

 

 

Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
Lighting Analysts have announced the release of Luxiflux® Area, a web-based exterior lighting ...
EarthTronics architectural grade Lumen & Color Selectable LED Downlight Fixture Series offers ...
The optimally engineered diffuser throws the light downwards exactly where it is required, while ...
The RMHO series of high output remote heads are ideal for applications requiring maximum light ...
RDR Residential Downlights are LED retrofit options to replace legacy downlights in many existing ...
Lightheaded’s Contortionist series features a dual axis so that it can be tilted and rotated with ...
ILSCO is excited to reveal a faster, easier, and more refined way to strip cable with our new ...
FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the FLIR VP50-2 Non-Contact Voltage Detector and ...
The new Ex9C F-type IEC contactors from NOARK Electric provides increased protection and stable ...
Commercial/Industrial-Grade Surge Protection for your facility’s service entrance or load side. ...


 

LED Disc Light DomeMagic Light announces the newest addition to their In Ground / Wall / Ceiling Disc light series. LED Disc Light Dome is made of marine grade stainless steel and makes the perfect marker accent light for driveways, parking lots, public areas, building facades and more.

Consuming only 3 watts, this robust fixture casts a decorative beam of light along the mounting surface providing excellent ambience as well as safety. Up to 18 fixtures can be wired together off one 12V, 60W dimmable LED driver.

 

 

Read More


 

Lumenwerx UbikLumenwerx has announced the launch of Ubik, a new family of luminaires engineered to offer a multitude of sleek and sophisticated options for interior spaces. From linear downlighting to long linear runs to elaborate light patterns to striking corner illumination.

Ubik can pack a powerful punch of up to 1600 lm/ft. When installed with a parabolic louver optic, the luminaires have an exceptional performance of 137 lm/W. Ubik features glare reduction with an Unified Glare Rating (UGR) as low as 6, and with regard to optics, Ubik features the second generation of Wide Indirect Optic (WIO).

Read More


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Dee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador ...
ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC). Their inaugural ...
At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in ...
Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and ...
Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently ...
Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical ...
ELG Electric is an electrical contractor based out of Goderich, Ontario serving the area’s ...
Founded by Warren Osak, Electromate specializes in Robotic and Mechatronic Solutions, distributing ...
 Will West is a first-year apprentice working in the solar industry with Hakai Energy ...
“It’s definitely the Olympics of our trade,” said Lance Giesbrecht of the Ideal National ...

Tom MiguelBy Sarah Pickard

At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke with his entire life ahead of him. In 1981, the world was changing, and like so many young men and women, he was faced with a world of choices that would go on to define both his career and his life.

It was in this office that some counsellor suggested becoming an electrician, and Tom’s interest was piqued. “I knew from that point on what field of studies I needed to focus on to become an electrician,” Tom said.

Read More

 

ECAO's Graeme AitkenBy Blake Marchand

ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC), their inaugural meeting was held virtually this past June. Discussing the thought process behind FLAC, ECAO Executive Director, Graeme Aitken explained there were a number of factors that went into the decision.

The program is meant to be a resource for young professionals in the electrical industry for networking, building professional development skills, mentorship, and learning about the inner workings of the industry in general.

 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2020 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil