UBIK Solutions launched the first DC demo office in Baltic States
Did you know that October is considered as an Energy Awareness Month in the USA? In Europe, this month also brings many different fascinating green energy-related events such as EU Sustainable Energy Week, Intersolar Europe, etc. For UBIK Solutions this October is very special as we launched the first DC demo house project in Baltic States.
The 14m2 tiny house located in Tallinn, Pirita Top, Port of Power innovation hub, aims to demonstrate the features and benefits of the DC power distribution in the residential and commercial buildings, proving that DC grids are feasible today and their benefits go beyond the words. Our ultimate target is to show the viability of the DC microgrids which will enhance the energy efficiency, flexibility and reliability of last mile supply of the electricity grid and demand management following the EU energy efficiency targets.
In our DC demo house the power generation (PV and fuel cell), storage and loads (personal computers, heat pump, LED lighting, microwave oven, vacuum cleaner etc) are interconnected with 350VDC microgrid. The DC-DC converters are used for voltage matching and optimal power flow balancing between the components of the microgrid and centralized AC grid so the connection capacity per home is not exceeded. In addition to that, the best power generation-storage-usage ratio is achieved maximizing the self-consumption of the on-site generated renewable energy and minimizing the energy demand from the grid.
The installation workplan is divided into 3 stages:
I stage: Installation of construction container, PV, DC office places (x2), screens, wiring, LED, USB-C sockets, control cabinet - finished now
II stage: battery storage, heat pump, fuel cell – ongoing
Next steps: EV/ e-scooter/ e-bike charging, small wind turbine and different household electrical equipment like microwave oven, kettle, vacuum cleaner, 3D printer etc
In contrast to AC, the DC distribution avoids any frequency stability and reactive power issues. It simplifies integration of photovoltaics and battery energy storages (BES) as due to their nature (DC-native) and the energy can be processed in fewer conversion stages reducing power losses. Many of modern energy-efficient home/ office appliances and HVAC systems are either straight from the box compatible or easily adoptable to DC. The low-voltage electronics such as laptops, TVs, LED lighting, etc. can be efficiently supplied from the DC microgrid using the USB-C compliant wall sockets. The DC house is coupled with AC grid and is seen by the utility as a prosumer performing economic dispatch. Therefore, the inhouse DC distribution can significantly improve the resiliency, demand-side flexibility, and facilitate energy arbitrage of the residential buildings thus making them future-proof and compatible with energy transition targets.
The key objectives that we want to achieve with this project are:
· Reduce CO2 emission by 25%
· Optimize self-consumption of the DC local grid (based on self-generation and the energy price in the grid) to reach energy neutrality
· Demonstrate safe and reliable DC microgrid application
DC microgrids help to bring households and its electrical systems to new efficiency levels. As the leading DC PV converter manufacturer, UBIK is looking for further product improvements and DC grid is a next step towards sustainable future. We are happy that our OptiVerter® technology and DC microgrid concept contributes to the greener and sustainable future helping to achieve Energy Transition targets.
Our DC demo building is a small demonstration that can be scaled up and replicated as a typical project elsewhere. That’s why we dare to say that this, at first glance, tiny 14 m2 house will surely trigger the wider implementation of DC grids! It demonstrates that DC microgrids in offices are feasible and works with residential-centric off-the-shelf AC appliances today.
The European Commission highlights a need for a near-complete decarbonization of building sector to meet its climate-related goals. It is time for the architect companies, real estate developers, city municipalities and others to rethink their strategies and switch from conventional to more sustainable technologies. Thus, we invite all of you to test and demonstrate your devices in DC microgrid using our DC demo office. Stay tuned to our blog as during the next weeks we are going to publish series of articles with more detailed information about this project.
We would like to thank all the partners who helped us to make this project happen: