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DC Lighting and Microgrids Study Report Released by Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNNL)

image credit: Marshall DC Lighting

Earlier in 2020 PNNL conducted a research study supported by the U.S. Department of Energy focused around characterizing the current state of DC lighting and building microgrid market and technologies.  In consideration of a future leveraged by the rational implementation of DC microgrids,  the report highlights DC lighting as the “key to optimized microgrid solutions” and critical component of a sustainable building power infrastructure; the white paper titled DC Lighting and Building Microgrids is now available.  We thank Researchers Gabe Arnold and Grace Pennell for their efforts in spearheading this report, which provides a further evidence validating the value of DC lighting.

Check out the abstract:

Direct current (DC) electricity has the potential to improve the resiliency, reliability, and energy efficiency of building systems. DC facilitates the ability to more easily and directly connect renewable resources such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and energy storage batteries to DC building loads such as light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, computers and electronics, electric vehicle chargers, and variable-speed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. The improved efficiency of the combined technologies can result in an estimated 10–18% in energy savings. When configured as a microgrid, PV systems and batteries can power DC building loads in the event of a grid outage, improving the resiliency of homes and businesses.

https://www.pnnl.gov/sites/default/files/media/file/DC_Lighting_and_Microgrids_White_Paper_09-09-2020.pdf

#dcled #dcsolutions #distributedenergy #dclighting #dcpower #renewables #microgrid #renewableenergy #24dc #48dc #125dc #greenenergy #sustainableenergy #pnnl

Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 26, 2020

 the report highlights DC lighting as the “key to optimized microgrid solutions” and critical component of a sustainable building power infrastructure

Is there an outlook for where we might see these solutions rolled out soonest-- in terms of geography, building type, customer type, etc.?

David Mandell's picture
David Mandell on Oct 27, 2020

Downtime of building lighting caused by public safety power shutoffs, rolling blackouts, electrical equipment issues, and/or power quality issues has generated a wide array of organizational safety and financial risks.   These ever so prominent problems and growing risks continues expanding the need for DC powered solutions, especially for those facilities considered as “critical” to our municipal infrastructures.

Electric Utilities are spearheading incentive programs for renewables that list "critical" which essentially prioritizes renewable applications for various facilities that are ideal for coupling with DC lighting. For example, The California’s Public Utility Commission’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offers rebates for installing energy storage technology at both residential and non-residential facilities. 

These storage technologies include battery storage systems that can function during a power outage…battery storage can be an important component of a more robust emergency preparedness plan in the event of a power outage.1

Approved “critical” facilities include police stations & fire stations;

  • emergency response providers & ops centers;
  • 911 call centers;
  • medical facilities including hospitals;
  • skilled nursing facilities & nursing homes
  • blood banks & health care facilities
  • dialysis centers & hospice facilities
  • public and private gas, electric, water, wastewater or flood control facilities;
  • jails and prisons;
  • cooling centers & homeless shelters supported by federal, state, local, or tribal governments; grocery stores, corner stores, markets and supermarkets that have average annual gross receipts of $15 million or less;
  • independent living centers; and
  • food banks

1https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/sgipinfo/

David Mandell's picture

Thank David for the Post!

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