“DC, it’s not just for crazy people”

Michael Giberson

greentechgrid on the current trend sweeping the nation, “Intel, Ford to Test DC Microgrids: Direct current. It’s so out it’s in“:

Intel and Ford Motor Company plan to retrofit select facilities to see if DC power can really curb their electricity consumption.

Intel will wrap the facility that houses the energy research group, part of Intel Labs, in Arizona in a DC microgrid, according to Brian Patterson, chairman of the Emerge Alliance, an organization dedicated to popularizing DC power. Ford, meanwhile, will retrofit a building that houses both manufacturing and offices to run on DC.

In both examples, DC power will be used to run computers, datacenters, lights and likely the heating and air conditioning systems. Ford may even go farther and add manufacturing equipment to the mix. The Ford facility will also include an energy storage system from Xtreme Power.

Okay, the “sweeping the nation” claim is probably premature, but it is a big step for the EMerge Alliance, which has beep promoting the switch to DC microgrids. The historically-minded among us may also see this as late vindication for Thomas Edison, typically seen as the loser in the Battle of the Currents to the AC power of Nicolai Tesla and George Westinghouse.

Okay, the “late vindication for Thomas Edison” claim is also probably premature, but at least this an interesting development currently on the fringes of the electric power industry and perhaps readying for a bigger break someday soon.

(The “DC, it’s not just for crazy people” line concludes the greentechgrid article.)

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