Beyond Power over Ethernet: the development of Digital Energy Networks for buildings

James Johnston, John Counsell, Gerry Banks, Matt John Stewart

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Alternating current power distribution using analogue control and safety devices has been the dominant process of power distribution within our buildings since the electricity industry began in the late 19th century. However, with advances in digital technology, the seeds of change have been growing over the last decade. Now, with the simultaneous dramatic fall in power requirements of digital devices and corresponding rise in capability of Power over Ethernet, an entire desktop
environment can be powered by a single direct current (dc) Ethernet cable.

Going beyond this, it will soon be possible to power entire office buildings using dc networks. This means the logic of “one-size fits all” from the existing ac system is no longer relevant and instead there is an opportunity to redesign the power topology to be appropriate for different applications, devices and end-users throughout the building.

This paper proposes a 3-tier classification system for the topology of direct current microgrids in commercial buildings – called a Digital Energy Network or DEN. The first tier is power distribution at a full building level (otherwise known as the microgrid); the second tier is power distribution at a room level (the nanogrid); and the third tier is power distribution at a desktop or appliance level (the picogrid). An important aspect of this classification system is how the design focus changes for each grid. For example; a key driver of the picogrid is the usability of the network – high data rates, and low power requirements; however, in the microgrid, the main driver is high power and efficiency at low cost.
LanguageEnglish
PagesSession 5 Power and Energy Design
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2012
EventCIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Apr 201219 Apr 2012

Conference

ConferenceCIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period18/04/1219/04/12

Fingerprint

Ethernet
Topology
Safety devices
Digital devices
Office buildings
Cables
Electricity
Costs
Industry

Keywords

  • Direct current
  • digital
  • Power over Ethernet
  • Dc microgrid
  • DEN

Cite this

Johnston, J., Counsell, J., Banks, G., & Stewart, M. J. (2012). Beyond Power over Ethernet: the development of Digital Energy Networks for buildings. Session 5 Power and Energy Design. Paper presented at CIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century, London, United Kingdom.
Johnston, James ; Counsell, John ; Banks, Gerry ; Stewart, Matt John. / Beyond Power over Ethernet : the development of Digital Energy Networks for buildings. Paper presented at CIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century, London, United Kingdom.21 p.
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Johnston, J, Counsell, J, Banks, G & Stewart, MJ 2012, 'Beyond Power over Ethernet: the development of Digital Energy Networks for buildings' Paper presented at CIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century, London, United Kingdom, 18/04/12 - 19/04/12, pp. Session 5 Power and Energy Design.

Beyond Power over Ethernet : the development of Digital Energy Networks for buildings. / Johnston, James; Counsell, John; Banks, Gerry; Stewart, Matt John.

2012. Session 5 Power and Energy Design Paper presented at CIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century, London, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Johnston J, Counsell J, Banks G, Stewart MJ. Beyond Power over Ethernet: the development of Digital Energy Networks for buildings. 2012. Paper presented at CIBSE Technical Symposium 2012 - Buildings Systems and Services for the 21st Century, London, United Kingdom.