EPRI/LBNL Workshop At Green Building Power Forum

May 03, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

A post-forum workshop titled, "EPRI/LBNL DC Power Partners Workshop," has been added to the First Annual Green Building Power Forum (GBPF ’09) to be held June 1-3 at the Anaheim, California, Sheraton Hotel. Together with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is working to identify opportunities for the use of dc-power in buildings. The workshop will be hosted by Brian Fortenbery, Program Manager at EPRI, and Dennis Symanski, Sr. Project Manager at EPRI.

"Technology advances suggest that there are significant opportunities for certain dc-based applications, and promising benefits in terms of energy savings and increased reliability. But many obstacles must be overcome, according to EPRI’s Fortenbery. "This workshop will identify the current status and future plans for the development of dc power distribution including: business case considerations, safety factors, quantification of the energy savings and reliability benefits, standardization issues, and more."

GBPF ’09 will encompass high-voltage and low-voltage dc power distribution as well as hybrid ac and dc distribution architectures and dc microgrids. It will be tightly focused on "Identifying Challenges, Progress and Opportunities for the use of DC Power Distribution in Facilities and the Creation of a Flexible and Dynamic Power Infrastructure." This focused three-day international conference will serve an audience of decision-makers who are interested in learning about and contributing to the latest practical advancements related to the use of dc power distribution in commercial, industrial, government and residential buildings; critical facilities such as data centers; and the creation of a dynamic power infrastructure.

"We are excited to add this important workshop to the Forum schedule, it is a validation of the importance of this area of emerging technology," stated Jeff Shepard, President of Darnell Group. "The use of dc distribution can complement other trends in building power including the growth of ’green’ energy sources, use of wireless building automation systems, demand side management, the implementation of high-efficiency lighting, and more. And it can reduce construction and operating costs, improve flexibility and enhance sustainability."

A convergence of technologies is occurring that will change how buildings are powered. These technologies include the continued rapid growth of distributed generation resources (photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, micro turbines, etc.), the emergence of high-efficiency lighting technologies (especially solid-state LED lighting), wireless building automation systems, demand-side management of building energy use by electric utilities, and so on.

Speakers in the Plenary session will include: Don Mulvey, Executive VP, Roal Electronics USA, quantifying, "Reliability of AC versus DC Powered Lighting Systems," Brian Fortenbery, Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute, projecting, "DC Distribution and the Home of the Future," Tomm V. Aldridge, Principal Engineer, Intel, detailing his company’s "Experience in Developing and Promoting 400Vdc Datacenter Power," and Stefan Lidstrom, CTO, Netpower Labs AB, reviewing, "Maximizing Overall Energy Efficiency in Data Centres."

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is a Platinum Sponsor of GBPF ’09. The recently-formed EMerge Alliance and the ZigBee Alliance are supporting sponsors of GBPF /09.

The GBPF ’09 web site is here .