Duke Energy seeking OEMs for DC Home Project

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New Duke Energy logo. (PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy)

If all-electric homes are our future, fully dc wired homes are not far behind. Duke Energy is currently working on a DC Home Project at its Emerging Technologies Research and Innovation Center in Mt. Holly, North Carolina. The mission of the project is to construct and evaluate a full scale and fully implemented DC powered home using production and prototype dc equipment that is either currently available or being readied for introduction to the residential market.

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The demonstration project is intended to explore specific standardization and equipment compatibility issues through an actual implementation of various dc system topologies and device types. It will also look to provide technical guidance for design implementation tools, resources and standards for dc power nanogrid/microgrid deployment both within and outside the current public utility domain.

The EMerge Alliance is collaborating with Duke to solicit participation by commercial manufacturers of dc based power component. EMerge is a non-profit open industry association containing commercial, government and academic member organizations to develop standards for hybrid AC/DC microgrids in commercial/industrial and residential buildings, neighborhoods and communities.

Participation in Duke’s DC Home Project is open to commercial original equipment manufacturers of products in all major categories of microgrid power systems including: sources, conversion/power management, storage, circuit protection and distribution, loads and controls, on a non-discriminatory basis. Applicants need not be members of the EMerge Alliance or current suppliers to Duke Energy, Direct Energy Partners, or Rectify Solar.

David Lawrence, Technology Development Manager at Duke Energy’s Emerging Technology and Innovation Center, describes efforts by Duke Energy to prepare for a future in which utilities will provide electricity to homes and businesses by alternating current – the standard now – and by efficient direct current.

“Duke Energy has followed dc technology for a number of years and is interested in the advancements and standardization that the EMerge Alliance is pursuing,” said Lawrence. “Our Emerging Technology and Innovation Center is an ideal proving ground to study this technology, and the DC Home project will be a vehicle for this work.”

Applications are being accepted online from now until June 30, 2022. The Residential Technical Standards Committee of EMerge will make technical evaluations of all applications and provide recommendations to Duke Energy project management for their possible use in the demonstration home.

Duke Energy is a participating member of the EMerge Alliance and currently chairs the DC Metering Technical Standards Committee. The EMerge Residential TSC co-chairs are currently held by Direct Energy Partners and Recify Solar.

“EMerge members have the common goal of enabling safely delivered, cleaner, affordable, and reliable energy, by applying sound physics and economics to the use of cleaner and more diverse renewable sources of energy in an increasingly networked environment, and in that context, we are happy to assist Duke Energy in this watershed project,” stated EMerge Chairman Brian Patterson.

EMerge Alliance is an RE+ Events Partner and plans to facilitate a live demonstration of a multi-tier networked hybrid ac/dc microgrid, based in part on learnings from the Duke Energy project, at the 2022 RE+ Conference and Exposition (formerly SPI, ESI and Smart Energy Week). Duke Energy project participants will also be invited to participate in the EMerge demonstration located in the RE+ Infrastructure section of this event, September 19-22, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

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