[rescue] DC Voltage distro (Was:SGI Challenge L... )

Wes Will wwill at siu.edu
Mon Sep 20 08:17:33 CDT 2004

>What kind of solution would you use if you wanted to have a significant
>DC source system in a house?
>Would it be more efficient to distribute something like 48VDC through a
>room/house, than to just use local conversion?

A lot of the alternative energy people (me, when I can afford it) use
48VDC, banks of large-capacity batteries, and only inverters when
absolutely necessary.  There are 48VDC versions of most appliances, and
they work quite nicely.  Fluorescent lighting is out, without some fancy
footwork in the ballast (or an inverter), so most folks in the boonies off
the grid are using halogens and such now.

The batteries are everything you can imagine, from custom-built high-tech
stuff to scavenged forklift, telco, and trolley-car banks.  The old telco
batteries are getting a whole lot scarcer than they used to be...

The wiring at 48V isn't much different from standard house wiring, but you
need to be sure and use something other than standard
2-parallel-slots-and-a-round-ground outlets in the wall for all of the DC
stuff.  Plugging any 110VAC gadget into 48VDC by mistake should be
impossible, unless you really like the "shower of sparks and really bad
smell" thing when your weekend house-guest slips up and forgets about your
weird power.

wes will
been there, smelled that.  pretty sparks....

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