A New Battle of the Currents
Advances in technology and the increase of devices that can generate or operate on DC power are again raising the debate over AC vs. DC power. Eliminating conversions from DC to AC and vice versa can greatly improve the efficiency of both the grid and the devices that can operate in a DC mode. Solar photovoltaic panels, batteries and fuel cells generate/store DC power, and residential, commercial, and industrial facilities are projected to increase DC electrical loads that do not require first converting to AC.
In developed regions of the world where the AC power grid is well established, it may not be feasible to change over large portions of the existing grid to DC. However, certain aspects of the grid, such as distribution primaries and secondaries may be candidates for a DC revolution. World regions where electric infrastructure is developing may have a greater opportunity to take advantage of the economic benefits of being able to adopt the latest innovations in DC energy production, transportation, and end-use technologies.
With this in mind, several IEEE Smart Grid experts were asked to provide their input to the question:
"What do you see as the future of AC and DC power, relating to various world regions?"