DC networks in industry
Given current technological and societal trends, the use of DC grids offers potential for energy-efficient and resilient industrial environments. HARTING is supporting these developments by providing appropriate solutions.
Greater efficiency through direct use and recovery of electricity
In order to be able to use electricity from wind and solar energy in alternating current grids, utilities have to convert the energy in a complex manner over several stages. On the consumer side, more and more semiconductor electronics are being used in connection with increasing automation – and the demand for direct current is trending upwards as a result. In DC grids, the supplier and consumer sides are coordinated with each other: The costs of additional transformations are eliminated, while conversion losses are reduced and the energy efficiency of industrial plants rises.
In AC grids, the braking energy of motors usually remains untapped, as recovering the energy (recuperation) is costly. Recuperation is easier in DC grids. The energy fed back can be utilized directly by other consumers on the grid or stored. Models have shown that by opting for DC voltage and recuperation, energy losses in the grid can be reduced by 2-4 %.
Battery storage increases resilience
In test systems, it was possible to reduce 80 % of the load peaks in the DC grid with the help of battery storage. The storage facilities also take over the supply of industrial systems in the event of a failure of the supply network. DC grids enable cost efficient battery storage and increase the resilience of industrial environments.
Solutions for transitioning
HARTING is actively shaping the transition to DC networks in industry and developing solutions together with partners. For example, the use of DC battery storage systems has already been simplified thanks to the Han® S connector. The HARTING portfolio for machines and systems also includes solutions for bidirectional power flow with a special emphasis on user protection and safety.