DC-Powered Lighting: 5 Takeaways

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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) recently published a research report that characterizes the current state of the DC lighting and building microgrid market.  The report "DC Lighting and Building Microgrids: Opportunities and Recommendations" was authored by Gabe Arnold and Grace Pennell of PNNL.

Here are our favorite takeaways from the research:

 

1.  PoE has Taken the Lead
Considering the wide variety of DC solutions, PoE is emerging as the leading technology.  The reports shows more manufacturers providing PoE solutions versus solutions targeting the EMerge Alliance “Occupied Space Standard.”

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2.  Energy Savings
Equipment and associated energy losses to convert DC to AC and AC to DC are significantly reduced or eliminated from the system, providing an estimated 10–18% in efficiency savings at the building level compared to the typical AC building microgrid. 

 

3.  The Value Proposition
Survey respondents most often cited the following benefits as the #1 value proposition for DC lighting and building microgrids.

  • Reduced Installation Costs (5 #1 votes)
  • Improved Energy Optimization & Efficiency (4 #1 votes)
  • Better Integrates with PV/Batteries (5 #1 votes)

 

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4.  Improved Resilience
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. 

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5.  DC Adoption
Despite the myriad benefits and opportunities provided by DC, its adoption in the market has been slowed by both the lack of available equipment and standards and the challenge of overcoming the status quo of building electrification.

 

View the Full PNNL Report »


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on signature capabilities in chemistry, Earth sciences, and data analytics to advance scientific discovery and create solutions to the nation's toughest challenges in energy resiliency and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. 

 

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October 12, 2020

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