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EMerge Alliance advancing DC power distribution platform and adds members


October 19, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

The EMerge Alliance, an industry association advancing the adoption of DC power distribution standards for commercial buildings, has formed a new technical standard committee for data and telecom centres, and added 11 new members as part of the group’s planned expansion to address building-wide opportunities for reduced power consumption.

EMerge says that, in response to the ongoing need for improved
reliability and energy efficiency in data centres (along with a growing
interest in the benefits of DC power distribution), it is developing a
380vDC power standard for inclusion in its hybrid AC and DC microgrid
platform. More than 70 organizations have now joined the alliance in
support of this approach, says EMerge.

“The completion of our first 24-volt DC standard for interior spaces has
established a foundation and roadmap for specification of DC-based
systems in other settings,” said alliance chair Brian Patterson. “We’re
moving forward with the next phase of our plan, which will help make DC
power distribution a reality in data centers and, ultimately, for entire
buildings.”

The alliance board has appointed EPRI’s Dennis Symanski to chair the new
standard committee, which will involve a collaboration of power,
infrastructure, controls and device manufacturers, and others who can
provide products and services needed to support the implementation of
this standard. A new Corresponding membership classification has also
been created to allow government, academic and other interested parties
to contribute to the development of EMerge standards through
participation in technical committees.

“In order to accelerate market adoption of DC power distribution with
telco and IT data centres and beyond, we need industry-wide
participation to develop a standard that will enable compatibility and
interoperability of all parts of the system,” said Guy AlLee, a research
scientist with Intel Labs. “The secret to maximizing energy efficiency
is to use the highest possible voltage with the fewest number of power
conversions while staying with volume components. We’re working on
solutions that can accomplish both for significant savings in data
centres.”

Meantime, the newest alliance members include: Cooper Industries, DTE
Energy, Emerson Network Power and Spear Point Energy at the
Participating level; TSM/LEDingEDGE and Verve Living Systems (subsidiary
of Masco Corp.) at the General level; Intel and Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI) at the Corresponding level; Enviro Energy Partners and
FSP–Powerland Technology at the Supporting level; and the Connected
Vehicle Trade Association at the Liaison level.

The Alliance has also appointed new advisory council members, including
Anthony Brower, Gensler; Brian Fortenberry, EPRI; Bill Tschudi, Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory; Konstantinos Papamichael, Ph.D.,
California Lighting Technology Centre, University of California, Davis;
Nana Wilberforce, The PNC Financial Services Group; and Kurt Yeager, The
Galvin Electricity Initiative.

CLICK HERE for EMerge Alliance.