Dec, 2020 - By WMR
Researchers at University of Waterloo designed a new electric power distribution system.
This new distribution system is expected to reduce electricity prices by more than five per cent and will also improve service reliability. Two kinds of current, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), are integrated in this design. By delivering both types of current, researchers observed more efficiency when compared to the existing AC-only distribution systems in use across the globe. As this design minimizes power conversion requirements, it is a simpler system with greater efficiency and less loss. When the number of converters are reduced, chances of service interruptions due to breakdowns can also be reduced.
AC is carried by existing power networks, as power transformers are used to increase voltage for greater long-distance transmission efficiency and reduce voltage for distribution purposes. Therefore, AC is also carried by distribution systems that delivers electricity from local substations to end users, which results in use of AC-DC converters in electronics that only require DC power.
In the new AC-DC hybrid system, AC-DC converters are introduced at strategic points in the distribution system itself rather than at end points. When researchers compared AC-DC hybrid distribution system with AC-only system, savings of over five per cent was estimated, as energy loss was less and infrastructure cost was low. According to the researchers, this new hybrid system has the potential to be adopted in new residential and commercial areas, or when existing systems are being expanded with additional substations.