EMerge Alliance Updates Key DC Power Standards for Commercial Buildings

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Latest revisions add desktop power distribution and secondary utilization voltages to expand utility of on-site alternative power storage and use

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EMerge Alliance Updates Key DC Power Standards for Commercial Buildings
Latest revisions add desktop power distribution and secondary utilization voltages to expand utility of on-site alternative power storage and use

Continuing its effort to offer advanced standards for the flexible, resilient, reliable, sustainable and efficient use of distributed renewable power in commercial buildings, the EMerge Alliance today announced the release of major updates to two of its previously released standards. EMerge Alliance Standards are the world’s first of their kind for the greater utilization of safe, low-voltage direct-current (DC) power in commercial facilities.

The standards updates allows further application of hybrid ac/dc power microgrids at the building level by defining additional critical physical and electrical requirements that achieve the following goals:

  •     Simplified and more flexible reconfiguration capability for the task/desktop of the occupied space
  •     Expanded use of secondary utilization voltages in data center and central office applications

The updated Occupied Space Standard expands its scope to include the definition of power parameters and physical connectivity right down to the individual task/desktop level. The new revision embraces direct current power requirements of several connectivity protocols including the new USB-PD and the latest PoE technologies. In the expanded standardized scheme, higher voltage DC power is down converted directly at the task level without the need for numerous and wasteful AC to DC power conversions at the device level.

The updated Data Center and Central Office Standard has also been expanded in scope to include a variety of secondary AC and DC voltages used within a typical data center. The revised standard provides additional connectivity of auxiliary equipment to access on-site alternative power generation, including solar panels or micro-turbines that naturally generate DC power. This option to use native DC power generated from these on-site sources improves building efficiency, reduces energy costs and reduces environmental footprints.

Throughout development of the EMerge Alliance Standard updates, the Alliance incorporates the latest technology requirements and contributions from a wide variety of industry stakeholders, including leading product manufacturers, service providers, utility companies, and technology integrators. According to EMerge Alliance President Brian Patterson, these updates represent the ongoing effort of the Alliance to keep its standards in a vanguard position for the entire building industry.

"EMerge Alliance Standards continue to enable a new era in power sourcing, distribution and management in commercial buildings,” said Patterson. “While we advocate increased use of native DC power, the Alliance is not interested in reliving the battle over AC versus DC technologies. Rather, we’ve set out to find better and more practical ways of getting the most out of both.”

The Alliance has third-party registration and interoperability certification programs for labeling products based on its standards. This helps Alliance members, system specifiers and building inhabitants to ensure reliable interoperable products will be available from the growing EMerge Alliance ecosystem comprised of multiple suppliers and that each product is easily identifiable in the marketplace.

The EMerge Alliance Standards are available to Governing, Participating, General, Corresponding and Liaison Members of the Alliance. A public overview version of the updated Standard and answers to frequently asked questions are available at http://www.EMergeAlliance.org. To join the Alliance, please visit http://emergealliance.org/en/join/index.asp.

About EMerge Alliance
EMerge Alliance is a nonprofit, open network of more than 100 organizations reinventing electric power through the development of forward-thinking standards for the highly efficient use of hybrid AC/DC power in a variety of residential and commercial buildings and campuses. EMerge standards focus on delivering DC power directly to digital electronics and power storage systems, simplifying the use of locally produced clean energy and making systems more flexible, resilient and sustainable. The EMerge Alliance Registered Product Program is the industry’s only program designed to simplify the use and adoption of DC power products. Learn more at the Greenbuild Expo at Booth 4313 or http://www.EMergeAlliance.org.

Beth Murphy
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