Electricity is primarily transmitted from utility companies to homes and business by alternating current (AC), an efficient way for electricity to travel long distances. Some of our smaller devices though, like the ones AGU staff use at work each day – laptops, computer monitors, printers, phone chargers – run on direct current (DC). The conversion of energy from AC to DC requires a converter at the end of the electrical cord to bring the voltage down, which accounts for an energy efficiency loss of nearly 20 percent. The project team knew that this typical process would disrupt efforts for the pursuit of net zero. By installing 2-by-2 direct current (DC) electrified grid technology in the ceiling of the renovated headquarters, the conversion process will be obsolete – making the building more energy efficient and use DC power generated by the PV solar array on the penthouse.
The project team is installing Nextek DC electrified grids, and recently made a trip to the Nextek plant in Detroit, MI to hear more about the technology, and, for some members of the team, see the product for the first time.
The project team’s own Roger Frechette, Interface Engineering Managing Principal, recently sat down with us to explain how the building will use the DC electricity directly: