The growth in direct current (DC) generation and energy storage resources sets the stage for a future in which power could be efficiently transferred between distributed energy resources (DER) and loads within a building as DC. Some firms are embracing and commercializing this technology, however lack of awareness and standardization and other practical barriers leave the future for this market shift uncertain. This article reviews the recent trends and benefits driving the renewed interest in DC, and separates fact from hype.
Value to Electric Cooperatives
Should it take hold, DC power in buildings would bring new challenges and opportunities for co-ops. It could serve as an enabling technology for Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) that may accelerate and amplify many of the challenges posed by distributed energy. For co-ops embracing the new products and services that DERs provide, however, it could also offer significant benefit by simplifying DER installations and reducing costs. DC could one day be a powerful ally for innovative co-ops shifting toward more consumer-centric, service-based business models.
Engineering and Operations