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A new, smart distributed DC micro-grid suitable for high-penetration and that efficiently utilizes energy available from distributed, renewable generators is described. It is shown that energy saving in excess of 10% is feasible using the proposed DC power distribution system when compared to the current approach where inverters are used. This conclusion is substantiated by first-order calculations of a 50 kW solar photovoltaics (PV) array delivering power to DC-compatible electrical loads typically present in a household and/or commercial building. Further energy saving may be achieved by replacing state-of-the-art silicon-based DC-DC power converters with more-efficient emerging Gallium Nitride (GaN) FET converters at a reduced cost. The proposed DC micro-grid architecture is hybrid in nature and is easily scalable to other power levels. It is ideally suited for residential and commercial applications as well as for powering sustainable communities.
Energytech, 2011 IEEE
Date of Conference: 25-26 May 2011