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Kerala to explore DC power option, meet today

According to reports, Kerala will become the first state in the country to explore the possibilities of direct current (DC) technology over the conventional alternating current (AC) systems in commercial buildings. Chief minister Oommen Chandy has convened a high-level meeting here in this regard on Thursday with the managing directors of Kinfra, Technopark and Energy Management Centre.

US-based EMerge Alliance, a non-proft organization promoting DC power technology, has proposed the idea for India, with its first leg in Kerala. It claims that the technology would help save 30% energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“The electrical installation in DC power is touch-safe for humans and can help prevent accidental deaths from electrical shocks,” Kevin A Schader, executive director of EMerge Alliance, says in a letter to the Indian government.

EMerge Alliance chairman Brian Patterson will also attend the meeting here on Thursday. Patterson will also attend two-day meetings in Bangalore from June 14 and Delhi from June 17, where he is scheduled to meet National Innovation Council chairman Sam Pitroda. “For all information technology devices and LED Lighting fixtures, we waste a lot of energy to convert AC to DC technology. All clean energy sources like wind and solar power generate DC power, which is now converted to AC power for use in buildings, thus resulting in a `conversion loss’ of 15% electricity,” Schader says in the letter.

Kinfra managing director S Ramnath said DC technology could help prevent conversion loss but it is yet to be explored on how far the DC technology would help in transmission of power over long distances from the site of power generation.

International Dark Sky Association-India president Arun George said though the AC technology was initially found efficient in long-distance transmission, advances in DC technology are expected to bridge the gap now. “It is expected to cut down one-third of energy requirements at industrial and IT parks,” he said.

Energy Management Centre director K M Dharesan Unnithan said the DC power technology had high scope, as energy conversion could be stopped mostly in solar, LED and semi-conductor devices.

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