The feasibility of small-scale residential DC distribution systems

TitleThe feasibility of small-scale residential DC distribution systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsEngelen K, Shun ELeung, Vermeyen P, Pardon I, D'hulst R, Driesen J, Belmans R
Conference NameIECON Proceedings (Industrial Electronics Conference)
AbstractThe application of DC distribution of electrical power has been suggested as an efficient method of power delivery. This concept is inspired by the absence of reactive power, the possibility of efficient integration of small distributed generation units and the fact that, internally, many appliances operate using a DC voltage. A suitable choice of rectifier facilitates the improvement of the power quality as well as the power factor at the utility grid interface. Stand-by losses can be largely reduced. However, because of the inherent danger associated with DC voltages and currents, it is imperative that a considerable amount of design effort is allocated for risk analysis and the conception of protective devices and schemes, in order to guarantee personal and material (especially fire) safety. This paper consists of the following topics: topological design, buffering of the DC bus, interfacing distributed generators, efficiency analysis and safety measures. The conclusion of this work is that (at the moment) it is generally not efficient to implement a DC distribution system exclusively at the level of the end-user. Rather, further research should focus on the extension of DC power delivery to higher levels of the electricity grid