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Direct current distribution networks

The coming of power electronics is radically changing the scenarios of transmission, distribution and use of electricity. In fact it is already possible to develop reliable and economic electronic converters to completely release the tension, frequency and number of phases of the distribution network from those of the users.

Today an ever-increasing share of electricity undergoes at least one "electronic conversion" before its final use. Most of the household appliances or the like, even if in alternating current supply, actually work in continuous current and could benefit, both from a constructive or energy point of view, from the availability of a direct current power supply source instead of AC.

The adoption of a direct current distribution network may also be beneficial for Distributed Generation systems and the development of storage elements would lead to a simplification of battery conversion devices with undoubted improvements from the standpoint of overall energy efficiency.

RSE activities in this area have led to the creation of a dual-conductor continuous current network on which tests have been carried out, in order to analyze full capacity and transient operational issues. Possible control strategies have been identified and tested, both for converters and the entire continuous system able to ensure a high level of network reliability and enable the exchange of power flows with the public alternating network with a high power factor. The development of controllers for the different electronic c.c. / c.c. converters used for interfacing the energy sources in the BT network (400 V) in c.c. has also been completed.