Power conundrum

Irony is Edison, promoted DC and also substations for DC at every street corner century ago. It was ridiculed while Tesla’s AC became standard since it is easier for transmission with minimal cable loss using High voltage and Transformers. (More irony, modern day Elon Musk’s Tesla is promoting solar power – a DC source!!!)

Today we talk about Solar panels for being self sufficient and environmentally friendly. Very much applicable for India where we are still experiencing power cuts. Solar panel generates DC. Most of our appliances today can run on DC – except for AC motors and compressors. These no doubt can be made to operate on DC too.

Most lighting systems are replaced by LEDs which requires a little DC voltage. Microwave and induction stove operates on high frequency where AC is converted to DC for operations.

So there is no need for AC, if we can carefully choose our appliances. Today painfully we convert all our DC to AC using invertors while most of our appliances like TV, PCs, chargers, LEDs, Induction / microwaves convert AC to DC internally. Some appliance like heaters, incandescent bulbs, don’t care whether AC or DC. We waste lot of energy by converting DC to AC at the source (UPS / Invertors) and then AC to DC inside the appliances.

One day I vision a future where, every house is out lined with material for absorbing solar energy and storing it in Hydrogen fuel cells (Battery). All appliances inside the house just run on plain DC with provisions for 12V and 5V outlets only. After-all modern-day appliances including our TVs and computers run on 12V. For those appliance which require high voltage the appliance can convert the DC to high voltage AC internally. Only issue I see here is the cabling, since thick cabling would be required to carry high current!

This would mean self sufficient power generation which is 100% environmentally friendly. Very little loss on conversions.

Posted on Jun 10, 2016 1:58pm

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