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EMerge Alliance expands DC power initiative to South Asia

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:57am

The EMerge Alliance announced it will start teaming with local organizations and launched a new Industrializing membership category to bring the benefits of DC microgrids to industrializing countries in South Asia.

A DC microgrid is a system of local power generation and distribution that can operate either in parallel with the surrounding alternating-current (AC) grid or in isolation from it. The EMerge Alliance has been advancing DC microgrids in the U.S. since 2008 to improve the way buildings and the devices therein are powered.

According to EMerge Alliance President Brian Patterson, the expansion of the group’s DC power initiative into South Asia will help bring reliable power to countries with known power stability issues to prevent the high occurrence of interrupted supply from affecting commercial, industrial and residential users of electricity. It will also allow great numbers of people who have no electrical power an opportunity to become a productive part of the electrified world economic community.

“This region has one of the highest incidences of grid failure in the industrialized world due to the region’s lack of supply to match demand resulting from its high industrial, economic and population growth,” said Patterson. “Not only are grid-connected DC microgrids believed to be the best solution to many of these supply and demand interruption problems, but off-grid DC microgrids are believed to be the best solution to supply electricity to the presently un-served, rural, low-income populations in the region.” 

DC microgrids offer the following benefits and opportunities for South Asia:

  • Reduce the burden on energy supply. Distributing power in DC form eliminates the waste of energy associated with the conversion of AC to DC power, which is required for many of the electrical loads found today, including LED lights, variable-speed motors, computers, televisions, and countless other forms of consumer electronics.
  • Supplement grid power with distributed energy. By connecting directly to distributed renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, which generate power in DC form, microgrids make it easier and more cost effective for commercial and residential buildings to use locally generated power during blackouts, preventing interruptions and further reducing demand on the grid.
  • Provide power to areas that don’t have access to electricity.  DC microgrids enable areas that don’t yet have access to electricity to bypass the traditional system of centralized AC generation and use renewable power independently of any grid.

The EMerge Alliance South Asian Industrializing Region (EASAIR) chapter will be led locally by Arun George and Vinay Agarwal serving as chair and vice chair, respectively.
“DC power distribution has a lot to offer the people and businesses in this region, and the EMerge Alliance is strategically positioned to help make it a reality,” said George. “We’re looking forward to working with the Alliance to improve power reliability and drive rural electrification in South Asia.”

In order to support technical professionals and building product manufacturers in this and other developing regions bring DC solutions into being, the Alliance has launched a new Industrializing membership category to offer access to regional and global Alliance activities and standards.

The new Industrializing membership category offers four levels of regional membership, including Participating, General, Corresponding Company and Corresponding Individual. Organizations in the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the first to be named to the new Industrializing category.  


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