CABA White Paper

The Role of Hybrid AC/DC Building Microgrids in Creating a 21st Century Enernet
Part I:  Doing for Electricity What the Internet did for Communications

This white paper examines the alternative of maintaining power in its native DC form from distributed generation and storage sources in a simplified, more flexible, efficient and resilient configuration in the building. This DC power could be aggregated with AC power from the public grid and distributed in the building via a hybrid AC/DC microgrid. The paper also explores the eventual interconnection of building-level microgrids within and between buildings and the public grid to create an energy network.  The paper refers to this energy network as the “Enernet,” analogous to the network of computers that constitute the Internet.  A tiered configuration of private microgrids and public grids in domains akin to the physical network topology of the Internet is proposed.  Also discussed are the motivation, need, and status of new standards to support the implementation of such buildings with wide-scale use of private microgrids that would be increasingly based on low voltage (under 1500 Volts (V) DC) direct current.