EMerge Alliance Announces First DC Power Standard for Commercial Buildings

Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Standard Improves Energy Efficiency, Offers Integration of On-Site Alternative
Power Generation
SAN RAMON, Calif.--(Business Wire)--
Delivering an innovative platform for unprecedented flexibility, sustainability
and energy efficiency in commercial buildings, the EMerge Alliance today
announced the release of the EMerge Alliance Standard, the first roadmap for the
utilization of safe, low-voltage direct-current (DC) power in commercial

The new industry standard allows buildings of today to adapt to the needs of
tomorrow by defining critical physical and electrical requirements that help
achieve the following goals:

* Reduced energy losses by eliminating device-by-device electrical conversions
from alternating-current (AC) power to DC power 
* Use of safe Class 2 power levels, wherever practical, as defined by the
National Electrical Code 
* Broad capabilities for faster and simpler moves, adds, and changes in occupied
* Movement towards interoperable device-level controls and smart grid
integration at the building level 
* Easier integration of native DC power sources, such as solar, wind, fuel cell
and batteries, with traditional AC power sources 
* Flexibility to implement new energy-saving devices, such as LED lighting and
controls, and energy-saving technologies, such as renewable power sources, more
efficiently and effectively

The EMerge Alliance Standard establishes a more efficient means of powering the
rapidly increasing number of digital, DC-powered devices, such as sensors,
lighting and IT equipment, found in today`s workplaces. It creates an
integrated, open platform for power, interior infrastructures, controls and a
wide variety of peripheral devices to facilitate the hybrid use of AC and DC
power within buildings. In the standardized scheme, AC power is converted to
low-voltage DC for efficient distribution at the room level, eliminating the
inefficiency of numerous AC to DC power conversions at the device level. 

The Standard also provides for an optional connection to on-site alternative
power generation, including solar panels and micro-turbines that naturally
generate DC power. Historically these native DC power generators required their
power to be converted to AC for local distribution, reducing their efficiency
and increasing costs. Using native DC power generated from on-site sources to
drive DC loads more directly can dramatically improve building efficiency,
reduce energy costs and reduce environmental footprints. 

Throughout development of the Standard, the EMerge Alliance incorporated
technology requirements and contributions from a wide variety of industry
stakeholders, including leading product manufacturers, service providers,
utility companies, and technology integrators. According to Alliance Chairman
Brian Patterson, the Standard is a pivotal milestone for the entire building

"The EMerge Alliance Standard sets the stage for a new era in power sourcing,
distribution and management in commercial buildings," said Patterson. "While we
advocate increased use of native DC power, the Alliance is not interested in
reliving the epic Edison and Westinghouse battle over AC versus DC technologies.
Rather, we`ve set out to find better and more practical ways of getting the most
out of both." 

The Alliance is establishing a third-party registration and evaluation program
for labeling products based on the Standard. This program will benefit Alliance
members, system specifiers and building owners by ensuring a variety of products
will be available from the growing EMerge Alliance membership base and that all
products will be easily identifiable in the market. The program is scheduled to
begin this fall. 

A public overview version of the Standard and answers to frequently asked
questions are available at www.EMergeAlliance.org. The full EMerge Alliance
Standard is available to Governing, Participating and General Members of the
Alliance. To join the Alliance, please visit

About the EMerge Alliance

The EMerge Alliance is an open industry association leading the rapid adoption
of safe, low-voltage DC power distribution and use in commercial interiors
through the EMerge Alliance Standard. This innovative standard integrates
interior infrastructures, power, controls and peripheral devices in a common
platform to facilitate the hybrid use of AC and DC power. Now, building owners
can gain unprecedented design and space flexibility along with greater energy
efficiency and improved sustainability. The not-for-profit Alliance is accepting
new members at various levels. For more information, please visit

NOTE TO EDITORS: Public overview of the EMerge Alliance Standard,
high-resolution graphics and additional media resources are available upon
request. Please contact Christi Chesner at media@EMergeAlliance.org.

for EMerge Alliance
Christi Chesner, 214-635-3023
Blake Lewis, 214-635-3020

Copyright Business Wire 2009