Edison Revisited: Should we use DC Circuits for Lighting in Commercial Buildings?

Speaker(s): 
Date: 
March 7, 2012 - 12:30pm
Location: 
90-3122
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

This seminar summarizes work from a forthcoming Energy Policy paper and thoughts on future work to understand the economics of DC building circuits.  We examined the economic feasibility of a general application of DC building circuits to operate commercial lighting systems.  We compare light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and fluorescents that are powered by either a central DC power supply or traditional AC grid electricity, with and without solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery back-up.  We find that there are limited life-cycle ownership cost and capital cost benefits of DC circuits for this application, when considering capital, wiring, energy, installation, and maintenance costs, unless used in buildings powered by grid-connected solar PV or using batteries. In the PV-powered case, building owners could save 4-21% on capital costs and 2-21% on levelized annual costs of LED lighting systems in 2012.  Even when used with solar PV, the cost savings with DC building circuits will decline over time, given the large cost share and faster cost reductions expected for solar PV and LEDs vs. the small cost share and lower cost reductions expected for the power electronics for the system. Further work is needed to better understand the cost and efficiency trajectories of AC vs. DC power electronics, the potential safety risks with DC distribution, and to remove design, installation, permitting, and regulatory barriers. A recording of this seminar is available at:  http://www.vimeo.com/38658805  

Add event to Google Calendar

Announcement List

To be added to our seminar annoucement list please, email ETA Seminars. Seminars may change without notice, stay informed by joining our seminar email list. 

Site Access

For site access please email your request to ETA Seminars. To arrive at Building 90 via the LBNL shuttle, take "Blue Uphill". Click here for the shuttle schedule. To ensure your site access is set-up send your request 36 hours in advance of the seminar.

Remote Access

Not able to attend in person? Remote participants can use ReadyTalk Audio & Net conference to phone in to listen, while viewing the presentation via the ReadyTalk site.

Web Access Code: 4864835

USA & Canada call-in number:
1 (866) 740-1260
Access Code: 4864835#

International callers:
Please visit this website to see if a toll-free call-in number is available for your international location.

If not, you will need to pay for the call yourself and use this phone number:

(303) 248-0285.