dc power distribution recommended practices

Use these three tips to ensure a direct current (dc) power distribution project is successful.

By Jonathan Sauer, Jacobs Engineering, Philadelphia June 16, 2014

1. Plan projects to include evaluation of alternatives, including dc systems. Opportunities may include the use of bulk rectifiers and dc buses for cooling fan and pump motors. Additionally, consider the dc voltage used by server equipment and providing a dc buses in the server aisle to feed this equipment. Connection of photovoltaic systems also typically includes a dc interface at less than 600 V.

2. Model the utility, generator, power converters, and loads to help develop interface standards, predict efficiency, validate the concept of operations, and identify key performance constraints, such as stability or harmonic distortion. Models can be used for energy management software development and testing. Many applications are suitable for this type of analysis.

3. Identify the power system equipment electrical interfaces, including harmonics, stability, and voltage requirements. Develop power distribution system architecture and interface standards appropriate for the project.

Jonathan Sauer is an electrical engineer at Jacobs Engineering. He works in the global building design group where he performs electrical systems engineering for buildings and mission critical data centers. Areas of expertise include facility electrical power, backup generation, UPS, automation, networks, commutations, security, fire, lighting, and HVAC.